Jean-Claude Van Damme, star of Bloodsport and Lionheart and a number of movies that are not Bloodsport and Lionheart, has signed on to star in a new action comedy series from Amazon. This is terrific news. And it gets better, because according to The Hollywood Reporter, the series is called Jean-Claude Van Johnson and will star Van Damme as a fictionalized version of himself who comes out of retirement to resume work as his alter-ego: an undercover private black ops contractor named Jean-Claude Van Johnson. And it gets even better because the show sounds somewhat nuttier than a pecan pie.
If I understand the THR report correctly, the comedy-action series involves “Jean-Claude Van Damme” — the show’s version — returning to Hollywood to take the lead role in “a reimagined action film version of Huckleberry Finn” that is a cover for his Van Johnson alter ego to land “back in the midst of the danger he secretly always craves.” And the role also, somehow, “brings him back into the orbit of Vanessa, his fellow operative and the love of his life that got away.”
The project comes from Expendables writer Dave Callaham, who will write the script and executive produce, and it will be directed by Peter Atencio, who also directed every episode of Key & Peele and the new Key and Peele movie, Keanu, which is about the search for a stolen housecat leading to showdowns with violent street gangs.
All of which would sound great, if my brain weren’t still doing tire-screeching donuts over a fictionalized Jean-Claude Van Damme starring in an action reimagining of Huck Finn as a cover operation so his mercenary alter-ego can go on a mission and try to win back the woman that broke his heart. I have no idea if this will be any good at all, but it now has 100 percent of my attention.