Dolph Lundgren set for 'Command'

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Dolph Lundgren will star in and direct Millennium/Nu Image's "Command Performance," an action thriller he co-wrote with Stave Latshaw.

Lundgren has spent the past few months in postproduction on his previous directing and acting vehicle, Sony's "Missionary Man," prepping it for a debut at next week's AFI Dallas festival. He is coming off a starring turn in another Millennium/Nu Image actioner, "Direct Contact."

Lundgren, a one-time karate champ who was discovered modeling in New York, burst onto the international stage in 1985 sparring opposite Sylvester Stallone in "Rocky IV." While his Hollywood star dimmed during the '90s, he has continued to work steadily, making movies that are seldom seen in the U.S. but still pack 'em in around the world.

Not that all the films have been that great, as even Lundgren will attest.

"While the quality has been up and down, I think things are going a little better now that I am directing," said Lundgren, who began helming with 2004's "The Defender" after the hired megaphoner fell ill.

Lundgren describes "Command" as " 'Die Hard' at a rock concert," with the story focusing on a drummer for the warm-up band of a big American performer giving a concert for the Russian premier. Naturally, the bad guys break up the show. And just as naturally, the drummer is an ex-Marine.

"I got the idea from Madonna," Lundgren said. "She did a concert for (Russian President Vladimir) Putin a few years ago."

Lundgren will not be using a stunt double for the truly complicated scenes, including the percussion sequences. "I used to play when I was a kid. Now I play at wrap parties after I've had a few tequila shots," he said with a laugh. "It'll be fun."

"Command" is scheduled to shoot in Moscow and at Nu Image-owned Bulgarian studio Nu Boyana in the summer.

"Contact," directed by Danny Lerner, also was shot in Bulgaria. The movie, which co-stars Gina Marie May and Bashar Rahal, follows a former Special Forces operative in Eastern Europe who is offered his freedom and money to rescue a kidnapped American woman. "Contact" wrapped production last week.

Lundgren served as a producer on the film along with Jack Gilardi Jr., Anton Hoeger and Ross W. Clarkson.

Executive producers on both films include principals Danny Dimbort, Avi Lerner and Trevor Short as well as Boaz Davidson.

Millennium/Nu Image has produced numerous Lundgren films including "The Final Inquiry," "The Mechanik" and "Direct Action." Said Lerner: "His films are a great mix of intelligence, wit and lots of action. We're happy to be working with him again."

Lundgren is represented by ICM.
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