Jean-Claude Van Damme is set to return to the ring in an upcoming reboot of his 1989 martial arts classic, Kickboxer, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which notes negotiations are still being finalized.
While Van Damme starred as Kurt Sloan, the martial artist who learns the secrets of kickboxing in order to defeat his brother’s killer, in the original movie, this time around he’ll portray a new version of Sloan’s sensei, Master Chow. Van Damme was tapped to replace Thai actor Tony Jaa, who dropped out because of scheduling conflicts.
Alain Moussi, an occasional actor and longtime stuntman for films like X-Men: Days of Future Past and Pacific Rim, will star as Sloan in the Kickboxer update, while Guardians of the Galaxy‘s Dave Bautista will play the villain, Tong Po. The cast also features UFC welterweight champion, George St. Pierre, who recently appeared as Batroc in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Kickboxer begins shooting in New Orleans this week and is scheduled to hit theaters in 2015.
The original Kickboxer marked a turning point in Van Damme’s career, and the Belgian martial artist/actor soon became a go-to Hollywood action hero for much of the early Nineties. While his star descended during the following decade, Van Damme continued to make movies, and in recent years has seen somewhat of a resurgence thanks in part to a semi-fictional portrayal of himself in JCVD and appearances in Kung Fu Panda 2 and The Expendables 2.