Here’s a bit of news you never expected to hear: a sequel to Hard Target is not only in the works, but is currently filming in Thailand. Direct-to-video action star Scott Adkins will be filling in for the non-returning Jean-Claude Van Damme (continuing his long association with his friend and mentor). The director tasked with this endeavor goes by the name Role Reiné, who has made a career out of creating direct-to-video sequels since 2009 with The Marine 2. Hard Target 2 also stars Thai martial arts star Jeeja Yanin – and, because this is a direct-to-video sequel that requires a villain, Vinnie Jones.
In a recent interview with City on Fire, Adkins said of the project:
“…right now I am in Thailand shooting Hard Target 2. I guess I am continuing to walk the path previously walked by Jean-Claude (laughing) It’s just a coincidence I promise you, but yes, I do keep getting involved with projects that are sequels to his earlier work or I am co-starring with him! I think he must be completely sick of hearing my name or seeing my face attached to projects related to him Sorry! “
“I am very excited about this project and I do think I am completely suited to this role. When I read the script – and this isn’t supposed to sound egotistical – I did find myself thinking, ‘Well if they don’t get me for this, who else could they get?’ It makes perfect sense, the guy is an MMA fighter that gets drawn into the most dangerous game where man is the prey… Roel Reiné (Death Race prequels, The Man with Iron Fists 2) is the director and he really knows how to shoot action and get the best look and epic production value for his movies. There are moments that pay homage to the original Hard Target and we are doing everything we can to deliver a worthy sequel… and a hell of an action film in its own right.”
The synopsis, though brief, is as follows:
In the second part, human hunting continues in the jungles between Burma and Thailand.
In further confirmation of the project, Adkins posted the below photos on his various social media accounts. The first appears on his Facebook with this caption: “Back in one of my favourite countries — Thailand — and rehearsing for next project with Master Seng of the famous Seng Stunt Team.”
And this one on his Whosay: “Here’s the first official shot from #HardTarget2 currently shooting in Thailand. Next up #MARVEL”
Obviously “#MARVEL” is regarding his recent casting in Scott Derrickson’s coming comic adventure Dr. Strange, and though details on Adkins’ role is being kept quiet, it’s rumored he’ll be playing Nurse Very Peculiar.
Hey look, Hard Target 2 sounds like a bad idea, and that’s entirely because the first film has become beloved for as many ironic reasons as unironic ones: the mullet, the snake-punching, the utter masturbatory obsession with slow motion, and the completely absurd action set-pieces. While it’s too early to tell if Hard Target 2 will be going for 100% sincerity, or allowing for some of the tongue-in-cheekness that’s been very associated with its predecessor, the presence of Adkins is certainly a step in the right direction.
There’s no release date as of yet for Hard Target 2, and if you don’t like that, you can take your pig-stick and your boyfriend and find a bus to catch.