Jean-Claude Van Damme gets his own Amazon series

Jean-Claude Van Damme gets his own Amazon series

"Hooraaaaaaaaay!"
"Hooraaaaaaaaay!"

Having wrapped up work on yet another Kung Fu Panda movie, and run out of subtitles to slap onto the direct-to-DVD cases for Universal Soldier films, Jean-Claude Van Damme is making the move to TV. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Musculature From Brussculature has signed on for a new pilot with Amazon, in which he’ll play both himself, and his secret-agent alter-ego: The eponymous Jean-Claude Van Johnson.

This is actually the second time Van Damme’s gone to the semi-autobiographical well in recent years; in 2008, he starred in French film JCVD as a washed-up, ethically dubious iteration of himself. That movie—which features a notable scene in which Van Damme is literally lifted out of an armed robbery to give the camera a riveting, five minute monologue on the nature of celebrity and addiction—earned a smattering of praise for the karate star’s performance, but didn’t do much for his struggling career.

Hence, possibly, the switch in genres for Jean-Claude Van Johnson, which seems like it’s going for a much lighter touch with all its self-referential shenanigans. Judging by both the premise and the behind-the-camera talent—which includes The Expendables and Godzilla scribe Dave Callaham, and Key & Peele and Keanus Peter Atencio—the new project is hewing much closely to action and comedy, with a little bit of romance (in the form of a female fellow spy who’s “the love of his life that got away”) thrown in for everyone who enjoys watching Van Damme gracefully kick his way into women’s hearts. (Also, it’s a TV show about Jean-Claude Van Damme pretending to star in a fictitious action movie of Huckleberry Finn, an idea so delightfully dumb we’re amazed no one’s tried to turn it into a TV show.)

Production for the series will reportedly begin in May.

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