Sometimes you vote and your nominee wins.
That’s what we were hoping when Amazon Studios asked audiences last August what series they wanted to see move forward with a full season. The underdog contender was a pilot called Jean-Claude Van Johnson, starring 1980s and 1990s B-movie superstar Jean-Claude Van Damme. If you’re a fan of Van Damme, you probably would agree he has never failed to deliver a solid Van Damme action flick, whether it’s Bloodsport, Kickboxer, Lionheart, Double Impact, or TimeCop, or whether it’s Van Damme as a villainous voice on Kung Fu Panda 2, or star villain among a bunch of other “has-beens” in Expendables 2, Van Damme always delivers as promised. We thought he did it again with a great series pilot last year. And Amazon Studios agreed.
Amazon Studios has released a new trailer and a teaser plus a firm release date for season one–it’s available next month.
Jean-Claude Van Damme stars as a meta-Jean-Claude Van Damme in Jean-Claude Van Johnson. We reviewed the incredibly fun pilot here at borg.com last year. Jean-Claude is a retired action hero, going through the motions, living the life we would expect of this famed, otherworldly-superhero-acrobatic-martial-artist-extraordinaire known as the “Muscles from Brussels”. He awakens to a ho-hum average day, among all the products which have licensed his name (JCVD soap, after shave, slippers, an iron statue, etc.), with the obligatory supermodel exiting his bed. He moves on to a Ramen noodle restaurant for lunch only to encounter a lost love, played by 39-year-old ex-Weeds and Royal Pains actress Kat Foster (Van Damme is 57). She is leaving for a gig in Bulgaria and shuns his affections. This prompts Van Damme to visit his agent, played by Phylicia Rashad. She has some lame (and quite funny) acting parts for him, but–no–he wants to return to his other job. It turns out Van Damme was doing what many of us dreamed about over the years–a story where these movie tough guys were actually put to the test in real life. That’s right, Van Damme was America’s real-life answer to James Bond. As Johnson, Van Damme was the world’s most dangerous undercover operative. And he’s back.
And he has plenty of disguises.
Here is the new teaser and full-length trailer for Jean-Claude Van Johnson:
Ridley Scott and David Zucker are executive producers on the show and the it boasts a nicely creative mash-up of action and comedy: Expendables series and Godzilla writer Dave Callaham, and Key and Peele and Keanu director Peter Atencio. Like the old Dan Aykroyd/Gilda Radner Saturday Night Live skit goes “It’s a floor wax, and a dessert topping.” Make no mistake: Jean-Claude Van Johnson is the dessert we all have been waiting for.
Look for Jean-Claude Van Johnson on Amazon Prime beginning December 15, 2017.