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Jean-Claude Van Damme Returning for ‘Kickboxer’ Remake

Actor-martial artist joins a cast which includes professional fighters Dave Bautista and Georges St. Pierre

Jean-Claude Van Damme is returning to his roots.

The actor has been cast in the remake of his 1989 film “Kickboxer.” He will play Master Chow, replacing “Ong-bak 2” star Tony Jaa who had previously held the role.

Van Damme recently starred alongside Sylvester Stallone in “The Expendables 2” and voiced Master Croc in DreamWorks’ “Kung Fu Panda 2,” but the 54-year-old action star best known for a string of successful 1980s and 1990s films that relied heavily upon his martial arts expertise, including “Double Impact,” “Bloodsport,” “Universal Soldier,” “Time Cop” and, of course, the original “Kickboxer.”

The remake, which began production this week, follows martial artist Kurt Sloan (Alain Moussi, originally played by Segal) as he travels to Thailand to learn kickboxing and avenge his brother’s death. “Kickboxer” co-stars two professional fighters who have found success in feature films, WWE wrestler Dave Bautista (“Guardians of the Galaxy”) and former UFC champion Georges St. Pierre (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier”), as well as Van Damme and Moussi (“X-Men: Days of Future Past”).

The Gersh Agency represents him.

Ted Field of Radar Films, Dimitri Logothetis and Nick Celozzi are producing the film. Mike Weber and Peter Meyer will executive produce.

“We are so excited to have Kickboxer roll into production and to have JCVD in the role of Master Chow, passing the torch to Alain, to have him lead the franchise to a new generation ” said Field on Monday. “Audiences better get ready for this incredible reboot. The action is going to be non-stop with never-before seen stunts. Simply put, Kickboxer will kick-ass!”

THR first reported the casting.