EXCLUSIVE: Operation: Kickboxer — a new series based on the Kickboxer action films — is in the works from executive producers Todd Garner (Mortal Kombat) and Dimitri Logothetis (Jiu Jitsu).
Gary Scott Thompson (The Fast and the Furious) will serve as showrunner, with Gary Marenzi’s Marenzi & Associates overseeing global co-production and distribution duties. The show will be financed by Indo Pacific Rim President Gary Wood, who financed the last three films from Logothetis’ company and served as exec producer.
Kickboxer is a seven-film martial arts franchise, three installments of which starred Jean-Claude Van Damme. The 1989 original directed by Mark DiSalle and David Worth introduced viewers to Kurt Sloane (Van Damme), who must learn the ancient kickboxing art of Muay Thai in order to avenge his brother. While later entries Kickboxer: Vengeance and Kickboxer: Retaliation would also feature the action star, he was absent through the second and fifth installments, with the focus segueing to Kurt’s younger brother, David (Sasha Mitchell).
Operation: Kickboxer will be a martial arts-driven espionage series which finds the youngest Sloane brother, Michael, thrust into the world of international geopolitical intrigue. In order to earn his freedom, Sloane must go undercover as an MMA contender, using his clout to gain access to targets around the world, while remaining in contention for the champion title belt.
Marenzi, who has helped launch global scripted franchises including Stargate, NCIS, Vikings, Shadowhunters and Killing Eve as an ex-Paramount, MGM and Endeavor Content TV sales head, will soon present the new series at the Italian film market MIA, with an eye toward a production start in 2023.
Garner served as President of Production at Disney Studios before founding Revolution Studios, and subsequently Broken Road Pictures. He has developed, overseen, executive produced or produced more than 170 films for more than a dozen studios and streaming services, including 25 films and three television series with Broken Road. Notable credits include Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Knight & Day, xXx, Tag, and most recently Mortal Kombat, which opened at number one at the domestic box office last spring.
Logothetis reinvigorated the Kickboxer franchise with the films Kickboxer: Vengeance and Kickboxer: Retaliation, also recently writing, directing and producing Jiu Jitsu, starring Nicolas Cage. He serves as President of Acme Rocket Fuel, as well as Kings Road Entertainment.
Thompson created the characters and wrote the screenplay for the original Fast & Furious pic The Fast and the Furious, before going on to create, write and executive produce the successful NBC primetime series Las Vegas. He also exec produced Knight Rider, which aired on NBC between 2008 and 2009.
Garner is repped by Goodman, Genow, Schenkman; Logothetis by Peter Meyer Management, [Brian Turnauer of] Freedman & Taitelman and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman; and Thompson by Fourth Wall Management and Paul Hastings.