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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.
I think it's safe to say you know your movie sucks when you not only screw the rights holders whose name and content you base your unsanctioned film on, but when said rights holders join the chorus of critics panning your movie from literally every angle of the internet. That is the level of achievement you have reached if your name is George Nolfi and you've directed a film called Birth Of The Dragon, long hyped to be a hopefully legendary homage to Bruce Lee, the late founder of Jeet Kune Do and patriarch of American martial arts movie fandom.
Whether you go into director George Nolfi's new movie, Birth Of The Dragon, for its martial arts action or any historical substance you can scrape, if past reviews and reactions have anything to say for it, its unlikely the film will be as fulfilling in its delivery. The film was assailed by critics after debuting in Toronto late last year and even moreso when the film's trailer arrived introducing what some feel is a tone-deaf transposition to film based on the legendary contest between two iconic athletes, one of whom would soon ascend to greatness in the years ahead.
That moment was the very fight between fledgeling action film hero Bruce Lee and Shaolin martial artist Wong Jack Man, etched in history as a fight between two distinct ideologies for which the outcome remains a recorded mystery to date. Front and center is American-born Hong Kong actor and martial artist Phillip Ng (Once Upon A Time In Shanghai) making his Hollywood debut opposite actor Yu Xia (Mojin: The Los…
You've seen him play the Game Of Death opposite Bruce Lee in the late martial arts star's final film. You've watched him go down in the iconic bar room brawl as "Sticks" in Out For Justice. You might have even caught him in a heartfelt and defining moment in the finale scene of David Mamet's 2008 martial arts drama, Redbelt.
Or, if you're immersed in the martial arts niche enough then you've likely given a glance at martial arts legend, Dan Inosanto, in various viral self-defense videos online or in segments from the many documentaries he's been featured in within the last few decades, namely Jay Ignacio's The Bladed Hand: The Global Impact of the Filipino Martial Arts or Pete McCormack's I Am Bruce Lee. For certain, the actor and ardent teacher and FMA mainstay's relevance is guaranteed this week with the news of a new biopic based on the Guro's little-known life and history which includes helping the Dallas Cowboys win Super Bow…