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Above The Law 2.. In Development.

JoeDirt

Active Member
#21
Although you make some good points the fact is Van Dammes career is no better now than it was before EX2 and neither is Dolphs

The fact is since 2002 both Seagal and Van Dammes careers have been pretty much identical with both appearing in a number of poor STV action films with the odd good one sprinkling here and there
DTV movies aside...

Van Damme starred as "himself" in a critically acclaimed indie film that garnered him some great accolades for his acting.

He starred in an award winning commercial for Volvo that went viral and has now well over 100 million views online.

He starred as the main bad guy in Expendables 2, a movie that went on to gross over $300M worldwide.

He starred in a TV pilot for Amazon Executive Produced by Ridley Scott.

What has Seagal done in the last 15 years that would even come close to that? He had a reality show on A&E and he had a supporting role in Machete. I'd say those are the most "mainstream" things he's done since Exit Wounds.

I'm not trying to make this a p***ing contest, but it's clear that Van Damme's career is in a much better place than Seagal's.

I don't think there's any question that the Expendables movies were very good for both Van Damme and Lundgren. I believe had Seagal agreed to do one, it would have been beneficial for his career as well.
 

Kotegashi

Master Of Disaster
Staff member
#22
I don't think we have to keep hinting at things that could have been if decissions in the past had been different. Truth is Seagal made his decission and nothing we say now will ever change that.

Looks like Seagal recently is more aware of his declining career and is making an effort to revive it.
We will have to wait and see how this will turn out.

peace
 

lee nicholson

Well-Known Member
#23
I don't really think Van Damme has done better than Seagal at all. EXPENDABLES 2 did nothing for his career (and he already made JCVD before EX2) UNISOL 3 & 4 were not made because of EX2 either (in fact I may be wrong, but I thought UNISOL 3 was made before EX2?)
Van Damme's biggest problem is that he keeps trying to repeat the 'tourtured soul' party piece from JCVD, that all his subsequent movies have been deathly dull. Lundgren has done better....but only because he was never that big in his heyday.
Citing a car commercial as one of Van Dammes crowning achievements, shows how forgiving we all are as DTV fans.

Seagal, for all his faults and bad judgements hasn't had to go 'retro' to appease audiences (like the EXPENDABLES franchise did) largely because he never changed his formula from day one. Seagal could easily be back on the big screen, if he just put in the effort....and this is his biggest problem....himself....as unfortunately, he doesn't seem to want to.

This point neatly brings me to the idea of a 'ABOVE THE LAW' sequel......He can't go pissing on his classics with the same lack on enthusiasm that infests his recent pictures. Looking back at ABOVE THE LAW, regardless of it's box-office takings compared to UNDER SIEGE.....this is the movie that started his career, made his name and wowed audiences. Without ATL, they would be no US. In ATL he had passion, expression, fluidity and character....he was actually considered a good actor, and got rave reviews for not just his Aikido, either. He seemed to have that 'method' swagger to his performance. The plot to ATL was daring, it cited real life events, and poured scrutiny at not only America, but also the C.I.A.
Over the years (and movies) he lost this passion, or at very least honed these performances down to a minimalist expression of growls, sneers and arm snaps.....in short he gave the fans 'greatest hits' from previous movies, as opposed to something new and fresh. He still has the look and the pressence....but uses them as a substitute for the passion he once exhibited in ATL.
Unless he got into better shape, lightened up his demeanour and raised his voice above a whisper....it'd be pretty unbelievable to imagine that a stealthy, oppinionated, passionate Chicago cop like Nico Toscani.....would now become this unrecognisable, heavier, goateed, mumbling, incoherent dude with a southern drawl....no matter how many years later it was set?

Who on earth would greenlight (let alone want to watch) a DTV sequel to THE WIZARD OF OZ.....made in Bulgaria, with lousy production values, lacklusture songs and a disinterested cast?

Seagal would have to bring his A-game to a NICO sequel....and as much as I'm a fan of his....I'm not sure he'd bring it.....and because it's been hidden for so long....I'm not sure *HE* knows how to bring it anymore?
Given that most of his early movies are considered classics (compared to his latter output, anyhow) the last thing he should do is ruin the memory of them?

I'd rather he just see out his years with more generic action movies, than attempt to revive an earlier hit, when he clearly lacks the passion to make good on his promises (unlike Stallone, who has genuine determination and respect to his former franchises) At best, I could envision this sequel being similar to DEATH WISH V, which was workmanlike, but didn't do the franchise any favours in the long run?

IMO, he should make a sequel to DRIVEN TO KILL or URBAN JUSTICE (i.e, something within his budget, limitations, comfort zone and mindset)
 
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JoeDirt

Active Member
#24
I don't really think Van Damme has done better than Seagal at all. EXPENDABLES 2 did nothing for his career (and he already made JCVD before EX2) UNISOL 3 & 4 were not made because of EX2 either (in fact I may be wrong, but I thought UNISOL 3 was made before EX2?)
Van Damme's biggest problem is that he keeps trying to repeat the 'tourtured soul' party piece from JCVD, that all his subsequent movies have been deathly dull. Lundgren has done better....but only because he was never that big in his heyday.
Citing a car commercial as one of Van Dammes crowning achievements, shows how forgiving we all are as DTV fans.
I didn't say that they made the Unisol sequels as a direct result of EX2, but I used them as an example of Van Damme putting out quality DTV movies that were well received.

Come on, The Expendables franchise has been huge for almost everyone involved. Van Damme (and the rest of the crew) were in huge red carpet premieres all over the world, sitting in press conferences alongside Arnold and Sly, being back on the Tonight Show and the Howard Stern show. People were talking about him again. $300M worth of tickets sold. It was like it was the 80's or the 90's again.

Can you remember the last time a TV commercial became a "thing" like the Volvo commercial? Hundreds of millions of people saw it, it was covered all over and parodied endlessly.

It's all about visibility. Being in a beer commercial or doing the Kickboxer dance on Conan keeps him out there. And I have no doubt in my mind that all that eventually lead him to do Jean-Claude Van Johnson for Ridley Scott's company. Because of all that he is still big enough of a name to build a high concept show around.

Meanswhile the last time Seagal was in the "public eye" in any meaningful way was back in 2012 when he did Jimmy Kimmel and Piers Morgan to promote Lawman. If you don't count Romanian talk shows or doing Aikido demonstrations in Russia. and the whole UFC debacle I would rather forget about.

So Van Damme is doing major A-list/B+ projects while Seagal is appearing in Fred Olen Ray movies and working 4 hours a day on the 25th Keoni Waxman movie shot in Romania.

By the way I agree with all your points, and I don't think Van Damme has made any great movies since JCVD and EX2 (in fact something like UFO I would consider to be his worst of all time), but it's all of his other projects and appearances that are keeping him relevant. And I have to say the Kickboxer reboot is looking quite nice.
 

JoeDirt

Active Member
#26
So Van Damme is doing major A-list/B+ projects........A list you must be joking

The kickboxer reboot is not anywhere near A list
The Kickboxer reboot is surely high B-list. Bigger budget and cast than any DTV movie he's done in a while. Not to mention Dave Bautista who's pretty close to A-list actor now after Guardians of the Galaxy, Spectre and the upcoming Blade Runner sequel.

I would definitely say Jean-Claude Van Johnson is an A-list project. Executive produced by Ridley Scott, for Amazon, directed by Peter Atencio from Key and Peel, written by David Callaham (The Expendables, Godzilla etc.).
Major movie people working on a TV pilot built around JCVD, I'd say that's pretty A-list.
 

Administrator

Administrator
Staff member
#27
Personally would much rather they put more effort into something more original rather than sequeling and re-hashing old movies.

Seagal, Van Damme, Lundgren careers are all at same stage for me. Most people now see their names and associate them with low budget junk. Even if this Above The Law sequel comes off, i think it would be low budget DTV. Hopefully i am proven wrong.. :)
 

Mason

Well-Known Member
#28
I would definitely say Jean-Claude Van Johnson is an A-list project. Executive produced by Ridley Scott, for Amazon, directed by Peter Atencio from Key and Peel, written by David Callaham (The Expendables, Godzilla etc.).
Major movie people working on a TV pilot built around JCVD, I'd say that's pretty A-list.
Is it an Van Damme and Dwayne Johnson project ??
 

lee nicholson

Well-Known Member
#29
I didn't say that they made the Unisol sequels as a direct result of EX2, but I used them as an example of Van Damme putting out quality DTV movies that were well received.

Come on, The Expendables franchise has been huge for almost everyone involved. Van Damme (and the rest of the crew) were in huge red carpet premieres all over the world, sitting in press conferences alongside Arnold and Sly, being back on the Tonight Show and the Howard Stern show. People were talking about him again. $300M worth of tickets sold. It was like it was the 80's or the 90's again.

Can you remember the last time a TV commercial became a "thing" like the Volvo commercial? Hundreds of millions of people saw it, it was covered all over and parodied endlessly.

It's all about visibility. Being in a beer commercial or doing the Kickboxer dance on Conan keeps him out there. And I have no doubt in my mind that all that eventually lead him to do Jean-Claude Van Johnson for Ridley Scott's company. Because of all that he is still big enough of a name to build a high concept show around.

Meanswhile the last time Seagal was in the "public eye" in any meaningful way was back in 2012 when he did Jimmy Kimmel and Piers Morgan to promote Lawman. If you don't count Romanian talk shows or doing Aikido demonstrations in Russia. and the whole UFC debacle I would rather forget about.

So Van Damme is doing major A-list/B+ projects while Seagal is appearing in Fred Olen Ray movies and working 4 hours a day on the 25th Keoni Waxman movie shot in Romania.

By the way I agree with all your points, and I don't think Van Damme has made any great movies since JCVD and EX2 (in fact something like UFO I would consider to be his worst of all time), but it's all of his other projects and appearances that are keeping him relevant. And I have to say the Kickboxer reboot is looking quite nice.

I really enjoyed the last UNISOL movie and (gulp!) UFO truth be told (but none of that was down to Van Dammes involvement) I totally hear (and get) what you're saying about his ambition and dedication. I'd never question that. Van Damme puts a lot more effort in his projects than Seagal ever would. But other than a few flashy kicks, I never really thought of him as an imposing or impressive 'presence' to start with (even in his heyday)

Everyone else from the EXPENDABLES franchise (other than Stallone & Schwarzenegger) has gone back to DTV land as soon as the movies have finished shooting. So whilst I'm sure Van Damme & Lundgren enjoyed the 'Red Carpet' treatment, nothing has really changed for them since the EXPENDABLES? Raising ones profile in a big budget movie is fine....but the old-school action scene is so played out nowadays, you have to make 'ensemble' pieces in order to get asses on seats......No-one cares about Van Damme's solo efforts (probably even less than Seagals) projects like 'Jean-Claude Van Johnson' only exist (bizarely enough) *because* of Ridley Scotts involement (not the other way round)

And as ill-fated as you may have found Seagals involvement with the UFC, he at very least associated himself (however tenuous) with two winners.....and I'll wager that Seagal is happier to have had links with the UFC than appearing in a car commercial? And speaking of the UFC.....whatever happened to Van Damme's long touted battle against Kamsing?

BTW, that car commercial was fake as hell (viral videos like 'CAT FALLS FROM A PIANO' get just as many, if not more internet 'hits'....and are just as equally realistic) the fact that people actually believed that Jean Claude Van Damme was actually doing the splits whilst balancing between two vehicles.....says a lot more about the society we live in....than it does about Van Dammes skillset (and don't get me started on those COORS adverts)

But hey...You say tomato, etc.....So peace be to you, My Brother :)
 

JoeDirt

Active Member
#31
I really enjoyed the last UNISOL movie and (gulp!) UFO truth be told (but none of that was down to Van Dammes involvement) I totally hear (and get) what you're saying about his ambition and dedication. I'd never question that. Van Damme puts a lot more effort in his projects than Seagal ever would. But other than a few flashy kicks, I never really thought of him as an imposing or impressive 'presence' to start with (even in his heyday)

Everyone else from the EXPENDABLES franchise (other than Stallone & Schwarzenegger) has gone back to DTV land as soon as the movies have finished shooting. So whilst I'm sure Van Damme & Lundgren enjoyed the 'Red Carpet' treatment, nothing has really changed for them since the EXPENDABLES? Raising ones profile in a big budget movie is fine....but the old-school action scene is so played out nowadays, you have to make 'ensemble' pieces in order to get asses on seats......No-one cares about Van Damme's solo efforts (probably even less than Seagals) projects like 'Jean-Claude Van Johnson' only exist (bizarely enough) *because* of Ridley Scotts involement (not the other way round)

And as ill-fated as you may have found Seagals involvement with the UFC, he at very least associated himself (however tenuous) with two winners.....and I'll wager that Seagal is happier to have had links with the UFC than appearing in a car commercial? And speaking of the UFC.....whatever happened to Van Damme's long touted battle against Kamsing?

BTW, that car commercial was fake as hell (viral videos like 'CAT FALLS FROM A PIANO' get just as many, if not more internet 'hits'....and are just as equally realistic) the fact that people actually believed that Jean Claude Van Damme was actually doing the splits whilst balancing between two vehicles.....says a lot more about the society we live in....than it does about Van Dammes skillset (and don't get me started on those COORS adverts)

But hey...You say tomato, etc.....So peace be to you, My Brother :)
It's true that none of the Expendables stars are box-office draws anymore and the movies didn't change that, most of them are still DTV level names, even Arnold and Sly outside of few franchises can't open a movie anymore.

However I still say that the exposure from doing a big movie like that definitely helped all of them (Arnold, Sly, Ford etc. were just fine), they didn't suddenly become A-list movie stars again, but it helped them book other stuff.

Like I am sure that doing Expendables 3 helped Wesley Snipes get a starring role in an NBC action tv show The Player (that got cancelled eventually). He likely needed that exposure to let everyone know he's out of the slammer and ready to work.

Someone like Dolph Lundgren was doing DTV movies before, but he was out of the limelight pretty much. Since The Expendables he's booked numerous big ad campaigns, he's done some interesting indie movies like Small Apartments, and even had his own little ensemble movie he wrote, produced and starred in Skin Trade.
He's also had cameos in the new Coen Brothers movie, Workaholics and he's appearing in a new project with Andy Samberg and Will Forte.

To have a succesful career these guys can't just rely on action movies anymore, they have to get creative and get out there.

I know for a fact that 99,9% of all of us here and all of Seagal's fans all over the world would have loved to see him in an Expendables movie, but he said no and that was that. I'm just saying that it would have been good for his career and it would have been cool for us fans.

As far as the Volvo commercial goes, I think the general consensus is that it's really Van Damme up there, but they obviously had a harness rig he was attached to which was erased in post-production so it's not like he was in any danger or anything. I'm assuming that's the case unless it comes out that they just superimposed his face on a stunt guy.
Either way it was a great commercial and it was very beneficial for him.
 
#33
DTV movies aside...

Van Damme starred as "himself" in a critically acclaimed indie film that garnered him some great accolades for his acting.

He starred in an award winning commercial for Volvo that went viral and has now well over 100 million views online.

He starred as the main bad guy in Expendables 2, a movie that went on to gross over $300M worldwide.

He starred in a TV pilot for Amazon Executive Produced by Ridley Scott.

What has Seagal done in the last 15 years that would even come close to that? He had a reality show on A&E and he had a supporting role in Machete. I'd say those are the most "mainstream" things he's done since Exit Wounds.

I'm not trying to make this a p***ing contest, but it's clear that Van Damme's career is in a much better place than Seagal's.

I don't think there's any question that the Expendables movies were very good for both Van Damme and Lundgren. I believe had Seagal agreed to do one, it would have been beneficial for his career as well.
Also, Van Damme was the voice actor for Master Croc in Kung Fu Panda 2 & 3- mega successful Animated movies. Anyway, I'm really interested to see how his Amazon pilot turned out.
 
#35
I think Seagal is wise choosing a sequel to his first ever film. "Above The Law" was simple, straight forward, not fancy in the slightest and a sequel could easily work. I'd love a return to form and a return to cinema's. These past few films starting with Maximum Conviction, Force of Execution, A Good Man, Gutshot, Absolution, Code Of Honor, Asian Connection, Sniper: Special Ops - Seagal has not been the MAIN MAN meaning maybe his ego isn't as massive as it once was. Right now Under Siege 3 is dead in the water. Above The Law 2 is a very interesting rumour and if it happens, and successful maybe then more sequels are doable but for now Under Siege 3 I don't see ever happening. Above The Law 2 I see!
 

Clement3000

aka The Phoenix
#36
I have to disagree with a few of the posters about this being great news!! To me this is very disappointing news! Nothing that Seagal has done in the past 10 years has show me that he has any interest in turning his career around. Now, it sounds like he is going to turn one of his most beloved movies and characters into a joke... likely he will get more views/purchases for this movie because of the tie-in-to the original (which will likely still be direct to vide0) but unless he kicks up his game, loses 100 pounds, etc. it's just going to be a sad comparison to the original. This movie will likely be riddled with doubles, Seagal wearing military uniforms and bandana's while mumbling in a New Orleans accent... this is either going to be the movie that turns his career around (that is up to him) or ends it... sorry to be a Negative Nancy but I can just see now the before and after pictures that will show up online in the reviews... I'm still a hardcore Seagal fan but I'm afraid that this movie will do more harm than good. If he does get it together and this movie is on par with the original then I will eat my hat... but I am not holding my breath! Above the Law 2 - Out for Lunch!
 

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Mason

Well-Known Member
#37
I would say loose alot of weight is first priority to begin with. If people cant recognise Seagal then the movie has already failed. If he got back into his Exit Wounds shape then it would be great :):cook:
 
#38
He has lost a considerable amount of weight recently I feel. I may be wrong but he looked much slimmer in Asian Connection. All I ask is he loses the Goatee. It was something I thought he was keeping only for his "Mr Alexander" character.
 

Mason

Well-Known Member
#39
He has lost a considerable amount of weight recently I feel. I may be wrong but he looked much slimmer in Asian Connection. All I ask is he loses the Goatee. It was something I thought he was keeping only for his "Mr Alexander" character.
If he is returning as Nico he has to loose more weight. Most people wouldn't accept a chubby Nico Toscani, and the way I see it, he has to please the fans (probably more than he has been used to for the past many years) if he want to bring back an old school character like Nico Toscani. Like both Kotegashi and I said, if he went back to his Exit Wounds shape he would look great ;):cook: ..
 

Clement3000

aka The Phoenix
#40
Agree 100%!! Id much rather see Seagal back at his Exit Wounds weight but in a non sequel movie with him as the main character and a straight forward plot.. then and only then should he even think of about bringing back Nico Toscani. He should have to prove something first before giving the opportunity to re do Above The Law. Like how Joel Silver made him lose weight for Exit Wounds.

If ATL 2 happens and its DTV with Seagal still over weight, doubled and mumbling his lines then I may be officially done.

also to Paul, the beard-goatee is actually a good for covering up the fact that he's gained weight in his face. If you look at some of his movies right before he grew the beard, he had really double chin going on and looked bloated in the face. The beard is doing a good job of hiding that lol

I dont post often but this news (however bitter sweet) just makes me reminiscent of Seagals glory days. If only this movie could end up being half a good as the original then ill probably still like it.
 
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