UPDATE (8/5/14): This may come as a mild disappointment, although hopefully a tentative one provided the odds are in fans' favor. I have just received word that today's press release went viral prematurely and that neither Scott Adkins, Tony Jaa, nor Dave Batista have been officially confirmed for the film. As such, talks remain on-going as the actors await a final contract to be outlined. Considering the response to today's premature headline, let's hope these talks are successful!
The current and accumulating cast list of the forthcoming production of director Stephen Fung's new reboot of the Jean-Claude Van Damme classic, Kickboxer is looking better and better.
Brian O'Shea, CEO of The Exchange, has announced and confirmed that in addition to having Dave Batista, star of GUARDIANS OF THE GLAXY, former UFC welterweight champion George St. Pierre, and Alain Moussi of X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, the 3D reboot of KICKBOXER will boast two additional action stars: Scott Adkins (THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM, ZERO DARK THIRTY) and martial arts legend Tony Jaa (ONG BAK trilogy, FAST & FURIOUS 7).
The high-octane KICKBOXER remake is directed by Stephen Fung (TAI CHI ZERO, TAI CHI HERO). It stars Alain Moussi (X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST),
With the addition of Adkins and Jaa, KICKBOXER features a variety of over 20 martial arts disciplines. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY star Batista has long wrestled professionally for WWE but has formal backgrounds in Kali, Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Moussi is a practitioner of Karate, Kickboxing, Aikido, Goshindo, Kobudo, Filipino martial arts, Sambo, Judo, and Jiu-Jitsu. St. Pierre practices Kyokushin Karate, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Boxing, and Wrestling along with a vast array of talents stemming from a Mixed Martial Arts background.
Adkins has a lengthy resume in the action genre with roles in THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM, THE EXPENDALES 2, and a slate of other action-centric films. Adkins has also worked alongside the original KICKBOXER, Jean-Claude Van Damme, battling the legend on screen in UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: DAY OF RECKONING. Adkins has backgrounds in Taekwondo, Kickboxing, and Judo.
Jaa is a veteran of the martial arts genre. His groundbreaking, blitzkrieg-paced ONG BAK films are cult classics. He also starred in THE PROTECTOR. Jaa is trained in Taekwondo, Muay Thai, Muay Boran, Aikido, Judo and Wushu.
KICKBOXER follows Kurt Sloan (Moussi), a talented martial artist who travels to Thailand where he must learn the secrets of the kickboxer to avenge his brother's death at the hands of Tong Po (Bautista).
The film is produced by Ted Field of Radar Films (RIDDICK, THE LAST SAMURAI), Dimitri Logothetis and Nick Celozzi. Mike Weber and Peter Meyer will executive produce.
"Kickboxer will display a style of acrobatic, rapid-fire martial arts action that Scott Adkins is increasingly becoming synonymous with," said O'Shea, "Along with Tony Jaa, KICKBOXER has compiled a talented cast to push the boundaries of the martial arts form."