JCVD is back in Jean-Claude Van Johnson trailer
Jean-Claude Van Damme used to be super famous, and his new show aims to put that fleeting fame under a microscope while still delivering what the Belgian martial artist is known best for—kicking ass on a global scale.
With a pilot episode directed by Keanu and Key and Peele director Peter Atencio, Jean-Claude Van Johnson follows Van Damme as a washed-up version of himself, slogging through lousy acting gigs and living a relatively schlubby life in Los Angeles on a diet of Pop Tarts and self-pity. But that's only the actor's day job—secretly, he's also an international secret agent known as "Johnson", putting his martial arts skills to lethal use to keep the real world safe.
The 30-minute pilot for the series was released on Amazon in August 2016, and received a warm critical reception for its smart writing and talented lead, whose dramatic chops have only gotten better as he's gotten older. As the explosive trailer shows, he's also just as good at fighting as he ever was; he may play a has-been in the show, but he's clearly still got what it takes to throw down in real life.
The self-critical, poking-fun-at-yourself material of the series appears to share a lot of similarities with the actor's 2008 film JCVD, which was also a fourth-wall-breaking examination of the self, though in a more dramatic fashion than this comedy series aims to be. Why Van Damme is drawn to this sort of metatextual material is almost irrelevant compared to how interesting it is—we'll take this through-the-looking-glass sort of cleverness over another Expendables movie any day.
In addition to Van Damme, Jean-Claude Van Johnson also stars Kat Foster, Ian Fisher, Moisés Arias, and Phylicia Rashad. The series' next five episodes will premiere on Amazon Prime on December 15, and the pilot for the series is available to stream now.