If Bloodsport is the film that introduced the world to Jean-Claude Van Damme, then Kickboxer is the movie that announced the arrival of the Muscles from Brussels as a big-time Hollywood star.
As Kurt Sloane, JCVD played a man out for revenge against the fearsome fighter Tong Po, who left his brother paralysed during a bout gone bad in Thailand.
Released in 1989, the movie was a notable success for the now defunct Cannon Group with a sequel following two years later.
There would be no return for Van Damme though, who moved on to bigger and better things, with Sacha Mitchell stepping into the role of Sloane for three of the four straight-do-video follow-ups.
Some 27 years on, however, and JCVD looks set to return to the franchise that still garners a cult following, in a reboot of the series entitled Kickboxer: Vengeance – but that’s only the half of it.
Essentially a remake of the original, this version sees Van Damme take on the Mr Miyagi role as Master Durand, the mentor of Alain Moussi who is stepping into the part of Kurt Sloane.
A Canadian stuntman who has appeared in everything from White House Down to Warcraft, Moussi will also be going up against a brand new Tong Po in WWE grappler and Hollywood up-and-comer Dave Batista.
Most likely filmed before his star turns in Guardians of the Galaxy and Spectre, Batista probably grew up a fan of the franchise, making this something of a passion project for the former wrestler.
Joined by MMA’s Gina Carano, the film could be available as early as September and, in a unique twist, a sequel is already on the way.
Entitled Kickboxer: Retaliation, details on the follow-up remain scarce but, if the names already attached to the film are anything to go by, it sounds bats*** crazy.
Not only is Moussi signed up to return alongside Van Damme but they will reportedly be joined by Highlander icon Christopher Lambert and Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson aka the Mountain from Game of Thrones.
That’s only the beginning too with both Mike Tyson and, most bizarrely of all, Brazilian soccer legend Ronaldinho also reported to have signed on for the film.
With the pilot for new self-aware action comedy series Jean-Claude Van Johnson proving popular on Amazon Prime, it’s shaping up to be a good couple of years for fans of JCVD.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.