Jean-Claude Van Damme to Headline Amazon Original Series
Whenever I’m in a high-pressure situation where I need to lead people to victory, I always quote Jean-Claude Van Damme in Street Fighter: “Who wants to go home ... and who wants to go with me?” It never fails. Always fires people. That’s the JCVD effect.
I just imagine Van Damme in the offices of Amazon, leaping on a desk and screaming “Who wants to go home ... and who wants to go with me?!?” and then everyone cheering and Amazon instantly green-lighting the pilot for a new JCVD-led TV series.
The scene may not have happened quite that way, but the end result was the same. The Hollywood Reporter says Amazon has bought a pilot for Jean-Claude Van Johnson, an “original scripted comedy” series to star the Muscles From Brussels. A plot synopsis:
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.
THR also reports the oddball tandem of Ridley Scott and David Zucker will executive produce the series with Peter Atencio (who did the upcoming Key and Peele movie Keanu) directing. That’s a formidable combination, and it’s a nice fit for Van Damme, who proved in JCVD that he’s at his best playing loosely autobiographical versions of himself, and proved in his car and beer commercials that he’s not afraid to have a little fun with his image.
That Volvo commercial, by the way, has been viewed 82 million times on YouTube. I imagine if Amazon got half that number for Jean-Claude Van Johnson they would be reeeeeeeally pleased. Now who wants to go home ... and who wants to go watch a Jean-Claude Van Damme show on Amazon once they get home? (Me. That would be me.)