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Jean-Claude Van Damme's Spy Career Revealed in Amazon's 'Jean-Claude Van Johnson'

by John Rosca / Oct 21, 2017 09:29 AM EDT
Jean-Claude Van Johnson review

Jean-Claude Van Damme has revealed that his entire film career was simply a cover for his life as a secret agent. That's the takeaway from a trailer previewing the new Amazon series "Jean-Claude Van Johnson," which has the Belgian actor playing a fictional version of himself. Watch the trailer below.

Van Damme has parodied himself before, Newsweek notes, notably in the 2008 film "JCVD" about the action star getting caught up in a hostage situation in Brussels. He has also done more comedy of late, including the French TV series "JC 1er," the movie "Welcome to the Jungle" and the animated films "Kung Fu Panda" 2 and 3.

Amazon's "Jean-Claude Van Johnson" is clearly going to be an action comedy. The trailer shows that Van Damme is unhappy being retired. He decides that it's time to make a comeback, not as an action star but as a secret agent under the alias "Johnson."

Van Damme's Johnson is not only a spy, he is a black ops agent who assassinates targets. He's not on the top of his game anymore. Johnson's rustiness and his fame as Van Damme greatly complicate matters as he goes up against a Bulgarian drug cartel. The complication lead to a number of hilarious scenes as seen throughout the "Jean-Claude Van Johnson" trailer. Other laughs come from bits parodying the tropes of action movies.

Ridley Scott is one of the "Jean-Claude Van Johnson" executive producers alongside Van Damme himself, as well as Peter Atencio ("Key & Peele"), Dave Callaham ("The Expendables") and David W. Zucker ("The Man in the High Castle"). The show is written and created by Callaham and is directed by Atencio.

Entertainment Weekly reports that Kat Foster ("Your Family or Mine") and Moises Arias ("The Middle") also star in "Jean-Claude Van Johnson." "The Cosby Show" matriarch Phylicia Rashad is a member of the cast as well. The "Jean-Claude Van Johnson" premiere date is December 15, when it comes out on Amazon Prime Video.

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