Last week Jean-Claude Van Damme told MTV News that the long-rumored “Universal Soldier 3” was absolutely going to happen very soon, albeit without the services of one Mr. Dolph Lundgren, of whom the producers reportedly said there was “no more value” to be had in casting.
“Absolutely untrue,” Lundgren insisted, clearing the air with a surprise call to MTV News HQ. “I’ve met with the producers many times, and I AM the one resisting. I want it to be a good picture, and I’m working with the producers on the materials and trying to work it out. The truth is it’s still a script and I think it needs some work.”
One of the main sticking points, Lundgren said, was the size of the roles offered to both of the main actors from the original 1992 film which, according to JCVD, amounted to about “10 days of work.” Basically glorified cameos, Lundgren said.
“Neither me nor Jean-Claude were carrying the picture and I didn’t agree with that,” Lundgren told us. “I think we have to be in the film more to give the audience what they want. You want some young guys in there too and you want a good story, but at the same time you want to use some of that old story element as well so that it does connect back.
“If [Van Damme and I] were to end up on screen together there’d be a large, built-in audience and we want to take advantage of that,” he continued, “to get what the audience came for, what they paid for.”
Lundgren, you may recall, wasn’t in the JCVD starring sequel, a 1999 dud the man formerly known as Ivan Drago called “terrible and not a very good movie.” It’s precisely for that reason that he’s worrying so much about the role he was offered in “Soldier 3,” the 50-year-old (50 year old!) said.
“’Universal Soldier’ is a great franchise, a great trademark, and I think it should be done very well and not rushed. I’m not begging for anything,” Lundgren asserted. “I wrote and directed the last two movies I did so I’m a little bit concerned about the material. What I’m doing is I want it to be a better film, a more intriguing storyline and not something you’ve seen before.”
To that end, Lundgren said he is meeting with producers today (November 13th) to hash out ideas, including his wish that they revisit the friend and foe dynamic between the two main characters.
“[My character and Van Damme’s character] were team members and enemies, I think that’s a good way to go. I think that’s one of the strengths of the story,” he said of what his ideal situation would be. “Plus my character tends to turn, so I mean that’s something that can be used in several ways and that’s what we are working on right now.
“I think if all parties want to do something together then usually there’s a way to work it out,” he concluded. “If you make a shortcut on the script then you pay the price later.I guess we’ll see how it goes.”
I never thought I’d say this, but there you go movie fans: Dolph Lundgren is the lone voice in the wilderness. How bad can this thing be? Should “Universal Soldier 3” producers acquiesce to Lundgren’s suggestions for more screen time and a different story? Tell me you wouldn’t see this puppy if both he and JCVD are back. Sound off on all your thoughts below.