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As you’ll recall, Jean-Claude Van Damme famously turned down a role in Sylvester Stallone’s “The Expendables”, the action film that proved over-the-hill muscle-bound actors could still bring the wood if given the chance. (He was eventually replaced with Dolph Lundgren.) Now with “Expendables 2″ on the horizon, word is Stallone has offered Van Damme the role of the film’s main villain.
Then again, ever since “Expendables” hit and word of an “Expendables 2″ came to the surface, pretty much every former action hero from the ’80s and ’90s have been rumored to be taking part in the movie in some form or another. Frankly, who knows what’s real or not, especially with the sequel still in very early stages.
We know this, though: What’s Playing says uber producer Joel Silver has offered the co-starring role in the mixed-martial arts movie “Dragon Eyes” to Van Damme if he wants it. The film will star MMA star Cung Le (he’s been in everything from “Tekken” to probably his biggest high-profile gig to date, one of the survivors on Christian Alvart’s “Pandorum”), and will find him taking on police corruption on the mean streets of New Orleans.
If Van Damme does sign on, he’ll be working with director John Hyams again. Hyams last directed Van Damme in the straight-to-DVD sequel “Universal Soldier: Regeneration”, and has proven himself to be pretty good with casting MMA fighters, having come up on the circuit himself as a filmmaker. Needless to say, you can pretty much expect “Dragon Eyes” to be one big fight movie, especially with Cung Le (below, whupping some dude’s ass in the ring) in the lead. I’m not saying you shouldn’t expect anything beyond a glorified MMA scrimmage, but I am saying not to hold your breath.
Update: EW says Van Damme has signed on for “Dragon Eyes”.