RLJ Entertainment has acquired U.S. rights to Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Kickboxer: Vengeance. RLJE plans to release the film in theaters and on VOD later this year. Van-Damme rose to celebrity status with his series of martial arts films in the late 80s and 1990s, including starring the cult 1989 hit Kickboxer. The new one was brought to the fore by producers Dimitri Logothetis along with Nicholas Celozzi (The Lost Angel), Ted Field (The Last Samurai, Jumanji), Allen Knudson, Samuel Cory Timpson and Rob Hickman (who also orchestrated the majority of the financing on the film).
This installment features not only the return of Van Damme to the franchise but also a slew of professional athletes including newcomer Alain Moussi (X-Men: Days oO Future Past), Dave Bautista (Guardians Of The Galaxy), Gina Carano (In The Blood), Georges St-Pierre (Captain America) and Cain Velasquez (Term Life).
The new story centers on Kurt Sloane (Moussi), who travels to Thailand to avenge the death of his brother at the hands of Tong Po (Bautista). Kurt trains with the legendary Master Durand (Van Damme) until he is ready to take on Tong Po in a brutal fight to the death.
The film was co-written by Logothetis (Stephen King’s Sleepwalkers) and Jim McGrath and directed by John Stockwell (In The Blood, Blue Crush).
RLJ Entertainment previously released its theatrical titles under the Image Entertainment brand, which RLJE purchased in 2012. Recent RLJ Entertainment releases include The Rewrite with Hugh Grant and Marisa Tomei, written and directed by Marc Lawrence; The Cobbler with Adam Sandler, Cliff “Method Man” Smith, Ellen Barkin, Melonie Diaz, Dan Stevens, Steve Buscemi, and Dascha Polanco, written and directed by Academy Award nominee Tom McCarthy.
“Fans of Jean Claude Van Damme have been waiting for a long time for this reboot of the Kickboxer franchise,” said Mark Ward, RLJ Entertainment’s Chief Acquisitions Officer.
“Making (this film) has been a priority and passion of mine for several years and I’m thrilled to be able to partner with RLJ Entertainment to bring this genre back to theaters,” said producer-writer Logothetis.
Jess De Leo, Senior Vice President of Legal and Business Affairs for RLJ Entertainment along with Ward negotiated the deal with Logothetis, Field, Brian O-Shea, and Mike Weber on behalf of the film.