Jean-Claude Van Damme is one of the most well-known names in the world of action movies. After appearing in a variety of uncredited or lesser roles between 1979 and 1984, Van Damme starred as the primary villain in No Retreat, No Surrender in 1986, and then in Bloodsport two years later. Now, 36 years later, at the age of 61, Van Damme will star in What’s My Name?, which is being billed as the penultimate action film of his career.
The title is drawn from the notion that Van Damme will star as himself, an older action movie actor who, after being in a near deadly car accident, wakes up from a coma with no memory of who he is. Van Damme will be battling many of the most memorable villains from his career as he attempts to regain his identity, leading 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.
“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.”
Van Damme has faced off against various action stars like Dolph Lundgren and Tong Po, and also appeared in The Expendables 2 alongside Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Chuck Norris, Jet Li, and others. It is uncertain how many of these stars will appear in his action swan song, but with the star pledging to square off against a number of past rivals, this could be a lot of fun for Van Damme fans everywhere to relive some of his career’s most memorable fights.
Jeremy Zag, the director, stated:
“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.”
Once this production wraps, Van Damme plans to relax and enjoy his life with his family, “because life goes by fast.”