- Iconic action star Jean-Claude Van Damme reclaims the title "The Muscles from Brussels" in his series television debut, Jean-Claude Van Johnson, a wildly funny send-up of—and homage to—the action classics of the 1980s and ’90s.
Created by Dave Callaham, creator of The Expendables franchise, and executive produced by four-time Oscar nominee Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, The Martian), Amazon's six-episode action-comedy series centers on the star’s secret double life as a black-ops specialist on and off screen. Once one of the world's most popular action movie stars and secret spies, Jean-Claude Van Damme (playing himself) is hiding from his fading stardom in luxurious seclusion. Out-of-shape and demoralized, he runs into Vanessa (Kat Foster), a former colleague and the woman he never got over. The encounter convinces Van Damme that it is time for him to make a comeback, not just as an actor, but in his true calling: international undercover operative "Johnson.jean claude van danme "ji chang wook and don the dragon wilson team up fighters movie 2020
As the first episode reveals, throughout his career Van Damme has used his stardom as a cover for a series of deadly black-ops missions, with Vanessa as his hair stylist and reconnaissance expert. Realizing that a film role will reunite him with his true love, he contacts Jane (Phylicia Rashad), his talent agent and spy handler. Back in the game, Van Damme lands the lead in a contemporary reimagining of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn filming in Bulgaria—where "Johnson" will lead his team in a dangerous mission to take down a vicious drug cartel.
Cast and crew
Jean-Claude Van Johnson is directed by Peter Atencio (Key & Peele, Keanu) and created by Dave Callaham (The Expendables, Godzilla). Executive producers are Peter Atencio, Dave Callaham, Ridley Scott, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and David W. Zucker (The Good Wife, The Man in the High Castle).
- Jean-Claude Van Damme - Jean-Claude Van Johnson
- Kat Foster - Vanessa
- Moises Arias - Luis
- Bar Paly - Krisztina
- Phylicia Rashad - Jane
- Tim Peper as Gunnar
- Carlo Rota as Dragan
- Deren Tadlock as Victor
- Winston James Francis as Meni Mano
- Richard Schiff as Alan Morris
- Edouard Holdener as Young JC
- Alex Carter as Colonel
- Christopher Naoki Lee as Johnnie Lao
- Alice Haig as Leggy Model
- Tait Fletcher as Pap Finn
- Ian Fisher as Andrei
- What Year Do You Think This Is?
- A Little Conversation About Trust
- If You're Lucky
- Run to Nowhere
- The World Needs Its Hero
The concept for a series about an aging action movie hero who secretly fights international supervillains began in 2013, when Jean-Claude Van Damme started to explore the idea of making his first television series. Originally envisioning an hour-long action drama, Van Damme approached Scott Free, the production company behind such successful series as The Good Wife and The Man in the High Castle, to see if they were interested in developing a show with him.
After meeting with Van Damme, David Zucker, executive producer and president of television for Scott Free, began a search for the ideal writer for the actor’s TV debut.
Screenwriter Dave Callaham, whose credits include The Expendables franchise and the 2014 feature-film version of Godzilla, may have seemed like an obvious choice for the job, but his proposal was anything but obvious. Van Damme, he believed, had long ago conquered the action genre. But a comedy, laced with the actor’s formidable mastery of martial arts, would give him a chance to showcase a completely different side of himself.
The series filmed in Los Angeles, which doubled for Bulgaria, which in the film-within-a-film is doubling for the Mississippi River. The designers leaned heavily on Eastern Bloc architecture: blocky, harsh gray structures with the Cyrillic alphabet on the signage. Each episode is structured like a half-hour action film with a major action set piece as its climax.