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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.
There's a ton of things happening right now with all things John Wick. The origin comic, as well as two spin-offs are among the raft of projects already in development as Chad Stahelski now looks toward bringing the third film in the canon to life for next year.
For this, casting is already underway and with exclusive reporting from That Hashtag Show which reveals the addition of actor Sanada Hiroyuki to the movie. Sanada, whose international career has seen him work with legends like Fukusaku Kinji, Corey Yuen, and stars like Jackie Chan and Michelle Yeoh.
Reuniting with 47 Ronin lead Keanu Reeves reprising the title role of the John Wick franchise, Sanada will star the head of a crime syndicate with a score to settle with our stoic assassin now on the run from his former fellowship of clandestined assassins. The two will reportedly be rejoined by actress Ruby Rose and actor Common following their appearances in last year's sequel in which both go toe-to-toe with Reeves.
Crowdfunding officially kicked off on Monday with a new Indiegogo campaign for The Martial Arts Kid 2: Payback. Action stars Don "The Dragon" Wilson and Cynthia Rothrock are back and co-producing, as well as rejoining a cast of returning and new faces led by title star, actor Jansen Panettiere, and once more with writer/director Michael Baumgarten who helmed the first film as well as last year's Paying Mr. McGetty. Plot details are unknown for the sequel following the first installment centered on an embattled teenager struggling to face the odds in a new neighborhood with help of his martial arts expert sibs, Uncle Glen and Auntie Cindy. Returning are Brandon Tyler Russell, Matthew Ziff and martial artist TJ Storm to reprise their roles with Chuck Zito emerging for the sequel next to actor Sasha Mitchell and with award-winning stunt coordinator James Lew back to direct the action. Florida's Cocoa Beach will again serve as the backdrop from a script by Baumgarten with …
Segueing from steering the action and stunt work coordinating films like Ant-Man, Ninja Assassin and Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World, Peng Zhang now rests his prospects at the helm. This one is no small feat either however - reportedly five years and with a tall order of $100 million dollars to date for Ningxia Film Group's upcoming Buddhist fantasy action adventure, Asura, making it China's most expensive movie in history, and as the hopeful first in a trilogy.
Signaling this month with an official teaser trailer ahead of a release midway in 2018, the film introduces a story set in the titular realm of pure desire which now finds itself threatened by a staged coup from a lower kingdom. Leading the way are burgeoning talents, actress Zhang Yi Shang (Railroad Tigers) with Lei Wu (The Shanghai Job, upcoming Nehza) starring as saviors to the realm and evident love interests to each other amid the upheaval of emerging villains and fantastic visuals host to spectacular scenery, battle…