Later this year, the Kickboxer franchise will be brought back to life on the big screen with Kickboxer: Vengeance, which released the first trailer in December although an official release date has not yet been set. While we wait for more details on this action-thriller, ComingSoon.net reports that a sequel is already in the works, entitled Kickboxer Retaliation, with Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, who plays "The Mountain" on Game of Thrones, signing on to be the new villain. Here's what producer Rob Hickman had to say in a statement.
"The response we have garnered for the first film, before its release, has been staggering, and we are excited to continue the franchise with the Mountain himself added to the cast."
Kickboxer: Vengeance stars Alain Moussi (Kurt Sloane) and Jean-Claude Van Damme (Master Durand) are set to reprise their roles, as they go up against a criminal syndicate. It isn't known if other Kickboxer: Vengeance stars such as Dave Bautista, Gina Carano, Georges St. Pierre, Luis Da Silva Jr. and Sam Medina will be back for the follow-up as well. Pre-production is already under way, with filming set to begin in Thailand this May, after Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson competes in the 2016 World's Strongest Man competition.
Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson recently became somewhat of a viral sensation, when a video of the actor sparring with UFC champion Conor McGregor was released through social media. The actor is best known for playing Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane on HBO's Game of Thrones, and he just wrapped filming on the upcoming Season 6. He has also competed in the World's Strongest Man competition for the past five years, finishing in the top three twice. He has also been crowned Iceland's Strongest Man in 2011 and 2012.
Kickboxer: Vengeance centers on David and Kurt Sloan, the descendants of a well-known Venice, California dynasty of champions. Both are top-notch fighters and athletes in the prime of their lives. When David wins the Karate World Championship, a promoter lures him to Hong Kong despite Kurt's protests that the man is a crook. Not soon after, Kurt receives a letter from David and heads to Thailand to meet him. When he arrives, he discovers his brother is dead. The man responsible is the viscous Tong Po. Desperate to seek revenge, Kurt turns to Xian Chow, his brother's former mentor. To defeat the man who killed his brother, Kurt must look within himself to find the strength and courage of a champion.
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Dimitri Logothetis, who co-wrote Kickboxer: Vengeance with Jim McGrath, is writing and directing the sequel. Our House Films and Acme Rocket Fuel will be producing the follow-up, although it isn't known if a release date has been set at this time. While we wait for more details on Kickboxer Retaliation, take a look at the first poster below.