Action legends Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren will reunite once more in Black Water. The action thriller will tell the tale of Wheeler (Van Damme), an undercover operative who awakens to find himself locked away in a CIA blacksite that is located aboard a submarine. Lundgren will reportedly be playing a fellow inmate named Marco who becomes an ally. JCVD’s son, Kris Van Damme, also stars. The project was penned by Chad Law, who previously scripted Van Damme’s Six Bullets, although there is currently no word on who is directing the film. Production begins later this month in Alabama.
The plot sound decidedly Escape Plan-esque, which is not a problem for me. That Stallone/Schwarzenegger two-hander was pretty entertaining and if Black Water gives us something similar while subbing in Van Damme and Lundgren, I’m all for it. In fact, I’m honestly a bit surprised this project wasn’t scooped up by Emmett/Furla Films and titled Escape Plan 2: Black Water*. After all, that sort of thing is par for the course in Hollywood, especially when it comes to action cinema.
Jean-Claude Van Damme has two completed projects heading our way this year. The first is Kickboxer: Retaliation, the sequel to last year’s Kickboxer: Vengeance. A third entry in the newly rebooted franchise, Kickboxer: Armageddon, has already been announced. 2017 will also see the release of Kill’em All, a “Die Hard meets The Usual Suspects” action thriller that teams Van Damme with Peter Stormare and Daniel Bernhardt (his Bloodsport successor). The actor will also begin work this year on Jean-Claude Van Johnson, his action-comedy TV series that was picked up by Amazon late last year.
Dolph Lundgren is the busier of the two, with roles in eight films due out later this year. A few of them appear to be supporting or cameo appearances, but he commands a leading role in the likes of Dead Trigger, Larceny, Bachelor Party, and Mike Mendez’s Don’t Kill It. In addition to an onslaught of movie roles, Dolph fans can also continue to enjoy his recurring role as Russian mobster Konstantin Kovar on the DC Comics TV series Arrow this season.
Black Water marks the fifth film that these gentlemen have made together, following three Universal Soldier films and The Expendables 2. Their more recent collaborations haven’t afforded them much screentime together, so here’s hoping that they will once again be able to play off one another as well as they did in the original Universal Soldier.
* – There actually is an Escape Plan 2 in the works. It will reportedly shoot later this year and be focused on a Chinese lead, with Stallone reprising his role from the original in either a supporting or cameo capacity. We’ll keep you posted on that project as it continues to develop.