If you’ve never seen JCVD, you’re seriously missing out on what is arguably the best thing that Jean-Claude Van Damme has ever done (and that includes this ad). Playing himself in a fictional situation, he showed us that he has zero problem with unpacking and poking fun at his own movie persona. And it seems that the 90’s action hero, he of the Brussells muscles and gratuitous butt shots, is not done with the irreverent tongue-in-cheek introspection yet.
THR is reporting that Van Damme has boarded a new action-comedy series pilot for Amazon titled Jean-Claude Van Johnson, and it sounds absolutely brilliant!
Jean-Claude Van Johnson will star Van Damme as a version of himself — a famous actor and martial-arts pro who comes out of retirement to resume his alter-ego: an undercover private contractor by the name of Jean-Claude Van Johnson. The comedy-action thriller will see Johnson’s cover as the lead role in a reimagined action film version of Huckleberry Finn that lands him back in the midst of the danger he secretly always craves. It also brings him back in the orbit of Vanessa, his fellow operative and the love of his life that got away.
In other words, private military contractor Jean-Claude Van Johnson is actually the real person, and Jean-Claude Van Damme is just the action movie hero persona he created for undercover ops on movie sets and in Hollywood circles. Which also explains why he made so many cheesy and bad movies over the years: It was all part of the job! How damn meta-brilliant does that sound?!
Jean-Claude Van Johnson will see Van Damme reteaming with Expendables writer/creator Dave Callaham (who is also responsible for the recent Godzilla reboot). Along with penning the script Callaham will co-produce alongside Ridley Scott for the latter’s Scott Free Productions, while the pilot is set to be directed by Peter Atencio, the man behind many of the hilarious comedy sketches on Key & Peele and also the director of the just as funny looking upcoming comedy Keanu.
At this point, Amazon has just put in a pilot episode order, but with this incredible premise and the level of talent associated with it, if this doesn’t get picked up for a full series, somebody needs to get 360-split-kicked right in the brain, or have to take on Van Damme in a dance off. And trust me, both will be equally as satisfying as it is painful to witness.
Last Updated: February 25, 2016