Dave Bautista is a busy man these days.
After spending nearly a decade as one of the top superstars in WWE, Bautista successfully made the transition to Hollywood as an actor. The career change was a smart move, and Bautista has appeared in some huge box office draws. He surprised everyone with his performance as Drax in the wildly successful Guardians of the Galaxy alongside Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana; a role he’ll reprise in next year’s highly-anticipated sequel.
The success of the Marvel film, which took in more than $774 million worldwide, opened a lot of doors for Bautista, including a role in the James Bond franchise in last year’s Spectre. Bautista has also been confirmed for the upcoming sequel to Blade Runner, which is currently filming and is set for a 2017 release.
Also on the docket for Bautista is the remake of the 1989 Jean-Claude Van Damme film, Kickboxer, in which Bautista will play the lead antagonist, Tong Po. The new film, Kickboxer: Vengeance, is set for a September 2 release and once again follows the story of Kurt Sloane, originally played by Van Damme and now played by martial artist Alain Moussi, and his quest for revenge after his brother is brutally beaten by Tong Po in a Muay Thai match in Thailand. This time around, Van Damme will switch sides as he takes the role of the trainer as he prepares his protege for the final match against Tong Po. The film, in which Dave Bautista actually has top billing, also stars former MMA stars Gina Carano and George St-Pierre.
— IMDb (@IMDb) July 22, 2016
Also on the busy slate for the former WWE champ is Final Score, a new action thriller directed by Scott Mann, who directed 2015’s Heist, which featured Dave Bautista alongside Robert De Niro and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Bautista is part of a cast that includes former 007, Pierce Brosnan, and the plot is eerily similar to yet another Jean-Claude Van Damme movie from the 90s. Here’s how Variety describes the new film.
“Shooting will begin on Aug. 8 in London at West Ham United’s iconic Upton Park Stadium, which has been the home of Premier League soccer club for over 100 years. West Ham United will be relocating to Olympic Stadium in East London next season and the venue will be handed over to a British property developer following production.”
Mann is directing from a script by The Brothers Lynch and Jonathan Frank, in which the stadium is seized during a sporting event by a group of heavily armed criminals demanding ransom. An ex-soldier must use all his military skills to save the 35,000 capacity crowd, one of which is the daughter of his fallen comrade.”
Remember Sudden Death, the 1995 flick in which Van Damme plays an ex-firefighter turned fire marshal at the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Civic Arena. who has to save the day after a group of terrorists, led by Powers Boothe, kidnap the Vice President of the United States and threaten to blow up the stadium; all while JCVD is working security as his children sit in the stands?
Okay, so it might not be exactly the same. Dave Bautista will be playing a soldier while Van Damme was a fireman. Final Score revolves around soccer while Sudden Death takes place at a hockey game. And while Van Damme was saving his own kids, it looks as if Bautista will be saving someone else’s. But seriously, it’s essentially the same movie, which is okay. On a $35 million budget, Sudden Death went on to make $64 million at the worldwide box office and another $50 million in video sales.
The only question that remains is whether or not Dave Bautista will do anything close to fighting a woman in a penguin costume.
[Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]