Jean-Claude Van Damme, the Belgian actor popularly known for his kick-boxing prowess, is finally collaborating with Amazon for a weird-TV Olympics titled “Jean-Claude Van Johnson.”
According to a CNN report, the upcoming surreal flight of comic fancy Van Johnson is expected to start with lots of manic energy, as well as many highs and lows.
Image: Jean-Claude Van Damme
JCVD presents the scripted version of a reality-TV show about a washed-up star and a secret spy using his movie career as a cover.
Van Damme, 57, was one of the 90s most popular stars, having starred in blockbuster flicks such as Universal Soldier, Time Cop, and Double Impact, but as was the case with many movie icons of his era, the Brussels-born actor took a dip in form towards before year 2000 and suffered many production flops. Subsequently, he withdrew and focused on direct-to-DVD projects, which has flourished for nearly a decade.
JVCD was released in 2008, an engrossing film which featured the box-office machine playing himself during a bank robbery and hostage situation. The movie gained a huge wave of reviews and attracted interest from Dave Callaham, a renowned writer who took credit for The Expendables 3.
Callaham chose to work with on JCVD for the famed actor’s legendary moves and fight choreography, so the new action-packed TV series promises lots of straight comedy and biting Hollywood satire.
Van Damme’s willingness to spoof his own image plays a central role within the show which begins with him as a retired actor, until someone confused him with Nicolas Cage, a spy who once used his international film work as cover for missions.
Van Damme said he’s inspired to work with Vanessa (Kat Foster), his spy partner and one-time lover, who masqueraded as his hairstylist during their endeavors, so they’re reunited in Bulgaria for the movie set.
“I should never have come back,” Van Damme, also known as Van Johnson in the movie, groaned at a point.
He featured in The Expendables 2 (2012), Kickboxer (1989), Double Impact (1991), Lionheart (1990) and Sudden Death (1995), among many others.
“Jean-Claude Van Johnson” premieres Dec. 15 on Amazon.
“The idea when I first started thinking about it was ‘What would a comedy with action look like?’ I mean, when you have access to Jean-Claude Van Damme, you want to make use of all of his various skills. But also, because I grew up as such a huge fan of him, I wanted to refer to the things that he does,” Callaham said in an interview.
“You know you’re gonna do the splits. You know you’re gonna do certain action. It would be a shame not to be able to refer to those things. And from there, you very quickly land in the space of: He’s probably gonna play himself.
“I’d seen JCVD, the movie he did. I love that movie, but my immediate knee-jerk upon seeing it, was ‘This didn’t go far enough.’ I thought, ‘Can I take a version of Jean-Claude playing himself to much stranger places?’ That’s what we did…”