Kickboxing Champ Lands First Leading Role in 'The Black Lotus' (Exclusive)

Courtesy of subject
Rico Verhoeven

Rico Verhoeven will play an ex-military operative on a revenge mission to save the women he loves in the film, which is inspired by action classics such as 'Man on Fire' and 'Taken.'

Rico Verhoeven, the Dutch kickboxing champion ranked No. 1 in the world, has signed on for his feature film lead debut in the action-adventure The Black Lotus.

The project is being produced by Tom de Mol and Marcel de Block, who have partnered with Christian Mercuri of Capstone Pictures. Verhoeven will also co-produce the film, now out to directors and writers.

The Black Lotus — inspired by action classics such as Man on Fire and Taken — will see Verhoeven play an ex-military operative on a revenge mission to save the woman he loves. The shoot is scheduled for 2019 in Amsterdam, London and Sofia, Bulgaria.

“I’m thrilled to play my first leading role in an international action movie,” said Verhoeven, who appeared in Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Kickboxing Retaliation and voiced the lead character in the Dutch version of the animated film Ferdinand.

“This new adventure is a big challenge for me, and I am excited to get the opportunity to pursue this dream. Similar to my fights, I will go all the way preparing for this and be extremely focused to deliver a top performance. I can’t wait to make a super entertaining film for all of my fans around the world.”

Verhoeven is repped by Karim Erja from SeiSei. 

This story first appeared in The Hollywood Reporter's Nov. 1 daily issue at the American Film Market.