Was This The Planned Sequel To Van Damme’s Infamous Street Fighter Movie?!

MOVIE NEWS – Van Damme’s Street Fighter and its eventual “sequel” are a great example of how everything bad that happens to video games in Hollywood can get even worse…



It is surprising to see that the 1994 Street Fighter, marked by Van Damme’s name, despite the bad press and the many news about the shooting disaster, is still enough in the end became a profitable Hollywood blockbuster. We don’t know if the makers tried to give the film a sequel right after its release.

However, in 2003, there were reports that Jean-Claude Van Damme would reprise his role as Guile in a supposed Street Fighter II, which never materialized.

Truth be told, we have quite a bit of information about this never-realized project. But we do know a few minor details from the news reports of the time. For example, Dolph Lundgren, who played Ivan Drago in Rocky IV, hinted at the time that he would star alongside Van Damme in this film. Holly Valance, star of another infamous fighting game ‘adaptation’, DOA: Dead Or Alive, has also reportedly been in talks to replace Kylie Minogue.


“I just want to do something I’m proud of”


Then, the curtain was drawn. Universal Pictures did not act on the matter and eventually lost the film rights to the video game. These eventually ended up in the hands of 20th Century Fox, who, in the same year they decided to terrorize audiences with Dragonball Evolution, produced a film that was even more despised by most fans of the Capcom title. The title? Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. Although it had nothing to do with the 1994 film, Jean-Claude Van Damme was initially supposed to star. The actor later shared why he turned down the role:

“They called me for the sequel, and they would have paid me well for it. But I didn’t want to do it. I’ve made enough money and I don’t want to make a movie and then come home and not feel good about it. Life is short. I am 47 years old. I have 10 years left to be the best I can be. (…) I just want to do something I’m proud of,” he told MTV in 2008.

We don’t know if the presence of Van Damme would have improved anything in terms of narrative in the case of Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li.

But given that the film ended up being a huge flop, it’s possible that a recognizable face in the cast could have helped boost audience interest a bit. The film grossed only $12.8 million after an investment of $50 million. Significantly less than the 1994 film.


Street Fighter without Van Damme but with a Smallville star


The appeal of Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li was that it was presented as a kind of spin-off of Street Fighter IV. In fact, it seemed like the project was part of an even bigger plan to tell the characters’ origin. In this first episode, they started with Chun-Li, played in real life by a very famous young actress at the time, Kristin Kreuk (Smallville)

There’s little we can say about the film that the critics haven’t already said. It has an average recommendation of only 3% on Rotten Tomatoes. This is undoubtedly a realistic, unbiased assessment. In the original Street Fighter movie, there was at least an attempt to make the characters look like the characters in the Capcom video game. The Legend of Chun-Li is anything but SF. It is likely that we would have been better off with a sequel marked by Van Damme’s name.

Source: IGN, MTV

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"Historian by profession, gamer since historical times."

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