Fans of cheesy VHS action classics rejoice!
Jean-Claude Van Damme is set to hit our screens once more in a new action comedy for Amazon Prime.
Called Jean-Claude Van Johnson, the show will see Van Damme playing a cartoonish version of himself as he leads a double life as a movie star/gun for hire, in what certainly sounds like a cleverly referential comedy.
Details are scarce at the moment, but here are a few things we do know about the Belgian actions hero’s new project so far:
JCVD won’t be taking himself too seriously
Van Damme has already established his willingness to take the piss out of himself with 2008’s JCVD, a crime thriller in which he played a down and out action star whose family and career are crumbling around him as he is caught in the middle of a post office heist in Belgium.
It was a brilliantly post-modern comment on the star’s own career, but it also contained a hard-hitting, emotional monologue by the actor.
Jean-Claude Van Johnson looks to see the Belgian actor once again taking on a semi-fictionalised version of himself, but probably with a little less seriousness this time around.
It could get pretty meta
If the series goes ahead, it would see Van Damme playing a private contractor (certainly a euphemism for a mercenary or secret agent for hire) who uses Jean-Claude Van Damme’s name and career as cover for his more ‘dangerous’ work, with all past movies explained as merely a front for more sinister-goings on behind the scenes.
We reckon things could get pretty self-referential, with endless quips and throwbacks to Van Damme’s past works, and hilariously convoluted explanations as to his real motives at the time.
Perhaps each episode could take us back to the shoots of infamous Van Damme movies. We’d love to find out just what the actor was really up on the set of Timecop.
There’s some formidable names behind the scenes
Obviously Jean-Claude Van Damme’s star turn would be the main draw of any potential series, but there is also a smattering of established names behind the scenes worth getting excited about too.
The Expendables writer Dave Callaham (who knows a thing or two about down and out action stars) has been charged with penning the script for the pilot, while regular Key & Peele director Peter Atencio (who also has Keanu heading to cinemas shortly) will be taking on directing duties.
It’s just in the pilot stage so far
With a tight premise, JCVD at his self-deprecating best, and a team of experienced hands behind the scenes, news of a full-blown Van Damme starring action comedy is pretty exciting.
But hold your horses just one second, as the programme is only in the pilot stages at the moment. With all the making of a cult classic on their hands, fingers crossed Amazon will be taking the series to the next stage once the pilot sends the internet Van Damme crazy with all sorts of meme fodder.
You’ll be able to watch it before the year is out
Jean-Claude Van Johnson is due to go before the cameras in May, with the finalised product hitting Amazon Prime some weeks later.
Whether a full series comes along or not obviously depends on how well the pilot does, so if you like the sound of this, you can do your bit by checking it out and boosting those ratings when it hits the web sometimes this year.