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Michael Jai White Teases A Possible Title For NEVER BACK DOWN 3
Mixed martial arts as a sport has played a pivotal role in the evolution of the martial arts action genre over the last decade or so. One of the more mainstream attempts at this was director Jeff Wadlow's 2008 coming-of-age action drama, Never Back Down, which did pretty well at the box office.
The film evidently led to its direct-to-DVD smaller-scale follow-up in 2011, Never Back Down 2: The Beatdown, with martial arts action superstar Michael Jai White co-starring, as well as debuting his first feature as director. Despite a miniscule budget of only $3 million with barely half the time it took to rehearse and film than its predecessor, the film ultimately earned the appeal of fans and left the potential for a third.
A lot more time has passed since then, and with fans still clamoring for more of what they saw in White's continuance, it wasn't until last week when the actor himself posted a photo announcing further updates on a possible third installment. On Tuesday, White kept his word with a new photo post on his page stating a potential title for the hopeful third film in the form of Never Back Down: Generations.
The photo White included in his post was that of himself with Guardians Of The Galaxy co-star, actor Djimon Hounsou. Hounsou first appeared in the 2008 film in the role of Jean Roqua opposite actor Sean Faris in the role of trouble-prone high school teen Jake Tyler; Roqua, an MMA pugilist and trainer, agreed to mentor Tyler in his desperation to learn how to fight after getting humiliated by MMA-obsessed glory hound Ryan McCarthy, played by Cam Cigandet. Supporting actor Evan Peters played Jake's newfound friend, MMA fanboy, Max Cooperman, who also appeared in the 2011 sequel where White, in turn, stepped into the mentor role of Case Walker opposite then-lead, Dean Geyer.
It's all very early at the moment, but White seems to be making it clear that this film is definitely going to happen, and with the likelihood that he and Hounsou may both appear in the film together at that! It's an excellent move that could tie the first two films together in a way that could solidify the franchise once and for all. Of course, that all depends on who gets cast and what will be said of its production and forthcoming release.
I'll leave it at that for now. In the meantime, White is slated to star in next month's limited theatrical release of Falcon Rising, as well as Skin Trade next year with a date to be announced soon. Hounsou will make his next appearance in Fast And Furious 7 on April 3, 2015.
Still to the surprise of many is the forthcoming second installment of the Escape Plan trilogy - Steven C. Miller's Escape Plan 2: Hades, following Mikael Håfström's initial 2013 hit pairing Sylvester Stallone with Arnold Schwarzenegger. A third was announced back in April and news this week now confirms the start of principal photography for upcoming threequel, Escape Plan 3: Devil's Station with Death And Life Of Bobby Z and 15 Minutes director John Herzfeld at the helm.
The new movie sees Stallone and actor Dave Bautista reprising their roles from a script by Herzfeld and screenwriter Miles Chapman which sees the two pairing up once again to break out one of their own from an inescapable prison. The two will be joined on screen by actor and martial artist Max Zhang whose credits span various facets in film from stunt double to principal actor with credits such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Soi Cheng's S.P.L. 2: A Time For Conseuqences (a.k.a. Kill Zone 2), and…
I did a lot of work this weekend. So, don't be surprised if things slow down a bit for me this week. At best, I might be able to pace myself and keep going but a little me-time also suffices.
For now, at least you have this week's installment of the Hit List to relieve your boredom. Demos, goods to promote and much more are on the way starting with a fresh new batch of stunt and training reels ripe with great talent featuring Saidqua Bynum, Dan Mast, Evelyn Osorio Vacaro, Brandon Ly, Hong Berghof (more on her later), Tim Storms, Dina Cataldi, Clancy Petersen, Katie Schwartz, Taylor Castriota, Carlton Hoyles, Sia Alipour, and a 2017 reel celebrating progress over at New York's Breakfall Studios.
Moving forward, we have two new items to help push, and we start the most recent poster debut for actress and martial artist Bridger Fox's latest turn at the helm, Assassin's Curse. The new action short is well underway ahead of its forthcoming 10X10 Filmmaker Challenge prem…
With the upcoming rollout or Jesse Johnson's The Pay Up, Accident Man and Triple Threat in his wake, leave it to action star Scott Adkins to help carry the mantle with word on the upcoming action thriller revisal, Sinners & Saints: Vengeance. Adkins will reunite once more with Chad Law-penned Jarhead 3: The Siege helmer William Kaufman who, in turn, reunites with actor Johnny Strong who led the initial 2011 revenge cop thriller.
The film aims as a stand-alone sequel which tells of a New Orleans detective who journeys to Moscow to avenge the murder of his partner at the hands of a syndicate enforcer with the help of an old war buddy, and the enforcer's lover. Law, whose writing credits also include Kaufman's zombie hit thriller, Daylight's End and Isaac Florentine's Adkins-led home invasion action pic, Close Range, is scripting with Saints And Sinners scribe Jay Moses ahead of the film's Bulgarian shoot this Winter.