It is fair to say that despite some terrible reviews in his long career, Jean-Claude Van Damme is one of the most recognizable names in kick-ass action blockbusters. After having a number of uncredited or minor roles between 1979 and 1984, Van Damme played the main villain of No Retreat, No Surrender in 1986, and then gained his first starring role in Bloodsport two years later. Now, thirty-six years on, at the age of 61, Van Damme will star in What’s My Name?, the movie that is being touted as the final action movie of his career.
The title of movie is derived from the premise that Van Damme will star as himself, an aging action movie actor who, after being in a near fatal car accident, is left without any memory of who he is when he awakes from a coma. The story will see Van Damme taking on some of the most iconic fighters from his career as fight by fight he attempts to regain his identity and life, which all leads him to one final face-off.
Speaking to Deadline, Van Damme said that the movie will pull from his cinematic and personal life just like 2008’s JCVD. He said, “I wanted to leave the stage but with a revisit of my career, starting with Bloodsport, the one where I started to become famous. I want this to be a new Bloodsport but on a higher level. In the film, I am on my way down in terms of career, and as I come out of a premiere of another action movie, I am not happy because I’ve been living in hotels the past 30 years, which is actually true. We’re going to bring real elements from my real life and what happened to me. I came from Belgium, all the way to Hollywood. I succeeded, I failed, I came back. So I’m walking out on the street after the premiere, and boom! — a car hits me because I’m drunk. When I wake up from the impact, I don’t know what’s my name, and no one recognizes me.”
Jean-Claude Van Damme Will Bring His Entire History Together In One Last Action Epic
Over his career, Van Damme has taken on pretty much every other action icon, from Dolph Lundgren to Tong Po, and has also starred alongside Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Chuck Norris, Jet Li and more in The Expendables 2. How many of these stars will appear in his action swan song is as yet unknown, but with the star promising to face off against a number of former foes, it is certain that it will be a treat for Van Damme fans everywhere to relive some of the biggest moments of his career in a brand new way.
Director Jeremy Zag said of the movie, “He’s trapped in this catch-22 where his heart is his only guide and that road will lead him through a journey that includes a lot of fights, in what will be a real action mainstream movie where we treat JC as a real human superhero. I grew up watching JC and want new audiences to do the same thing, and when he stands against Tong Po, he’ll begin to flashback in his mind, and we will reproduce some of the best fights from some of his biggest movies.”
While there is a lot of hard work going into this final movie, Van Damme has already planned what he intends to do afterwards, and it is something that everyone could hope they get a chance to do at some point in their lives. He said, “I’m canceling everything to get in shape, and after this movie, I’ve bought a small boat. Not a big boat — that’s not for me — but I want to go around the world, and relax. I work all my life, I live all my life in hotels for 30 years. That all will be explained in the movie, how I became far away from my family. After this, I want to relax and enjoy my life and family, because life goes by fast.”