Brainwaves: Ones to Watch
The world of action entertainment is no different than any other entertainment entity. In order for action entertainment to thrive and survive, new stars must be born so they can continue the ass whoopin’ – gun shootin’ – car chasin’ tradition.
In this edition of Brainwaves I’m going to take a look at four stars, all under the age of 35, who I believe have the potential to have a bright future in action movies…
- Alain Moussi: We are just a few months away from seeing Alain Moussi in his biggest role to date, playing Kurt Sloan in the reboot of the 1988 Jean-Claude Van Damme classic Kickboxer. Moussi has been acting and doing stunt work for the past 10 years, but up until the news of his involvement in Kickboxer: Vengeance, I had never heard of the man and I’m sure I’m not the only one. But if Kickboxer: Vengeance can do even half of what the original Kickboxer did for JCVD, I think action movie fans the world over are going to be quite familiar with the name Alain Moussi by the end of this year. Moussi will be surrounded by the fighting skills of Gina Carano, Georges St-Pierre, T.J. Storm (Doomsdayer) and the late Darren Shahlavi. Throw in Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy and Skyfall) as Tong Po and probably most importantly, Jean-Claude Van Damme himself and it is obvious that some thought has gone into this reboot and the producers really want this to work. Need more proof? They are already working on a sequel! I’m looking forward to seeing just what Alain Moussi brings to the table.
- Stephen Amell: Of the four names on my list, I believe Stephen Amell has the best shot of being a successful action movie star. Amell has already developed a loyal fan following as the star of the popular CW series, Arrow. Amell is set to make the transition from the small screen to the big screen in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows playing the role of the hockey mask wearing vigilante Casey Jones. If the TMNT franchise continues you can expect that Amell will continue to be involved. And if the TMNT franchise continues it will be because the films continue to make money. The 2014 version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles made nearly $200 million dollars. And if Hollywood attributes any of the sequel’s box office results to Stephen Amell’s participation, the man will be getting more movie offers.
- Bianca Bree: Not too long ago I would have put Kris Van Damme on this list, but the eldest son of Jean-Claude Van Damme seems to have put his career in front of the camera on the back burner. (I was really looking forward to The Tower too and the rumored Van Damme vs. Van Damme finale). But to paraphrase Yoda, “There is another”. JCVD’s beautiful daughter, Bianca Bree could be this generation’s Cynthia Rothrock if she wanted to be. She’s got the physcial skills and she’s got the looks. And she’s also been slowly but surely getting film experience. Bianca has starred in some films with her famous father including 6 Bullets, The Shepherd, Assassination Games and Welcome to the Jungle. But in 2016, she already has two non-JCVD movies to her credit and I think we will see more of her branching out in the near future. If I had the means,I know I’d produce an action movie with Bianca Bree as my star.
- Dean Ambrose: In the past few years WWE Studios has really found their niche giving the world of action entertainment a steady stream of direct to video action movies and selecting members of the WWE talent roster to star in these films. John Cena, Randy Orton, The Miz and Dolph Ziggler have been among the WWE Superstars to star in WWE Studios produced films. But I believe (and admittedly I am at least a little biased) that Dean Ambrose has the most potential of any wrestler in the action movie world (he’s got mad nunchuck skills!). He is arguably the most popular superstar currently on the WWE roster, there’s no mixed reactions with Dean, people love the man and it is because his character is so real, so raw and so unique. Popularity sells tickets, merchandise, and movie tickets or at least VOD rentals and Blu-rays. R rated movies would allow Ambrose to tap into some edgier content and allow him to say and do things that won’t fly in today’s PG environment in the WWE. And if his work in the world of professional wrestling is any indication, I can see Ambrose either being the action hero (as he was in his acting debut 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown) or an action villain.
The jury is still out on whether or not any (or all) of these four talents will have successful action movie careers. But needless to say I will be rooting for all four to succeed.