Jean-Claude Van Damme, the Belgian-born martial-arts champ who has starred in several modestly budgeted action films, is poised to make the leap into big-budget pictures. First comes "Alamogordo," a $25-million science-fiction adventure written by Ken Finkleman, in which Van Damme plays a taxi driver in the 21st Century. Set to direct is one of cinema's most original visual stylists, British director Donald Cammell ("Performance," "Demon Seed," "White of the Eye"). Production on this TWE production, to be released by Columbia, gets under way in Spain this summer.
Van Damme will follow this by playing the title role in writer-director John Milius' "Alexander the Great." The film will be produced by D. Constantine Conte (executive producer on "48 HRS."). Milius hopes to get Sean Connery (whom he directed in "The Wind and the Lion") to play Alexander's father, Philip of Macedonia. Filming in Spain and Russia should begin the latter part of 1991.
Gary Busey trades in his good ol' boy duds for a suit and tie to play a federal agent opposite Danny Glover in "Predator II." Stephen Hopkins ("Nightmare on Elm Street 5") directs for producers Larry Gordon, Joel Silver and John Davis. The film, which will be released by Fox, begins production in mid-February.
Crispin Glover ("Back to the Future") will play Andy Warhol in Oliver Stone's Jim Morrison project, "The Doors," filming this spring for Carolco Pictures.
Nicolas Cage, Judge Reinhold and newcomer Erika Anderson will star in Electric Pictures' erotic triangle, "Adios, Thierry," which begins filming in New Orleans Monday. Cage plays a blue-collar worker struggling to be an artist while Reinhold is his boyhood buddy, a poet turned businessman. Co-starring are Joe Pantoliano ("Downtown"), as a flamboyant gay; Viveca Lindfors, as Reinhold's grandmother; Aaron Neville (of the Neville Brothers) as a bartender and Cajun singer Jo-el Sonnier as a cop. Sam Pillsbury ("Scarecrow"), an American-born New Zealander, directs for producer William Blaylock ("Grandview, U.S.A.") and Eyal Rimmon. Mari Kornhauser wrote the script.
Graham Baker ("Alien Nation") will direct John Stamos (ABC's "Full House") and John Stockwell ("Top Gun") in Warners' action-adventure "The Recruit." Stockwell plays an Army captain who must recruit Stamos, a motorcycle racer, as an instructor when the cavalry switches to motorcycles in 1939. Janice Hickey, who co-wrote the script with husband Michael Pardridge, based some of the story on her father's experiences in the cavalry brigade. Ninety pre-war motorcycles, including 40 Harley-Davidsons, have been rounded up by producer Fred Weintraub for principal photography, which begins in Yugoslavia March 12.
Annabella Sciorra, a big hit in last year's "True Love" and currently playing Richard Gere's wife in "Internal Affairs," has gotten a job in a delicatessen. No, not waitressing, but playing one of an eclectic group of people in a Manhattan deli in the early morning hours. Her co-stars in Cineplex Productions' comedy, "Delicatessen," include Josh Mostel ("Hannah and Her Sisters"), George Newbern ("Adventures in Babysitting"), Herta Ware ("Cocoon"), Ralph Manza and two of New York's most respected acting teachers, William Hickey and Jeff Corey. Larry Daniels directs Michael Nankin's script. Production begins Feb. 14 in L.A.