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Batista's next film role will be in a remake of Kickboxer with Georges St. Pierre

The Animal is signed up to get his head kicked by someone other than Daniel Bryan and The Shield. Does it mean more time off from WWE, or is it an indicator of his dissatisfaction with how his deal is being handled?

While Dave Bautista, better known as Batista to pro wrestling fans, reportedly has a two year contract with WWE, it's been know for some time that the deal included provisions for promoting his Disney/Marvel film, Guardians of the Galaxy, which comes out in August of 2014.

When exactly he would be departing was never confirmed, and has now lead to much speculation about when the Batista character will be leaving WWE programming - and if the man behind the character is dissatisfied with how the deal is being executed from both creative and financial standpoints.

Today, a press release came out from movie broker The Exchange that Bautista has been cast in a remake of the 1989 martial arts cult classic Kickboxer.  What role he's landed isn't specified (it won't be the lead, Kurt Sloane, made famous by Jean-Claude Van Damme in the original - that is going to newcomer Alain Moussi, a martial artist and stuntman), the cast also includes UFC champion Georges St. Pierre.  The French-Canadian sensation is himself a veteran of the Disney/Marvel machine, having just portrayed Batroc in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

No shooting or release date is set at this time.  An announcement like this ahead of the Cannes Film Festival in France is in an attempt to sell the project to studios and distributors.  The fact that it has reached this stage is a good sign, but by no means a guarantee that it will happen.  Director Stephen Fung has been attached to the project since July of 2013.

Let the speculation commence about if this means that Big Dave is really pissed off or will be taking more time off that originally planned.

Here's the press release:

May 12, 2014 - Brian O'Shea, CEO of The Exchange, has announced a deal to sell the big budget reboot of the 1989 classic KICKBOXER. The Exchange will begin selling this action packed remake at this year Cannes market.

KICKBOXER will be directed by Chinese phenomenon Stephen Fung (TAI CHI ZERO, TAI CHI HERO) and produced hit maker Ted Field of Radar Pictures (RIDDICK Series, THE LAST SAMURAI). KICKBOXER will star UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre (CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER), and WWE superstar Dave Bautista (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY.) The film will also be introducing Alain Moussi as its lead. Mr. Moussi is a world-renowned stunt man / martial artists, performing in such films as (X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, IMMORTALS, PACIFIC RIM, WHITEHOUSE DOWN). ."Alain is a star and will be an amazing leading man," said Filed "Like Vin in RIDDICK, Alain will make this movie very special and this KICKBOXER reboot will be the start of an amazing franchise".

Additional cast will be announced shortly.

David and Kurt Sloan are the descendants of a well-known Venice, California dynasty of champions. Both are top-notch fighters and athletes in the prime of their lives. When David wins the Karate World Championship, a promoter lures him to Hong Kong despite Kurt's protests that the man is a crook. Not soon after, Kurt receives a letter from David and heads to Thailand to meet him. When he arrives, he discovers his brother is dead. The man responsible is the viscous Tong Po. Desperate to seek revenge, Kurt turns to Xian Chow, his brother's former mentor. To defeat the man who killed his brother, Kurt must look within himself to find the strength and courage of a champion.

The film is also produced by Dimitri Logothetis and Nick Celozzi. Mike Weber and Peter Meyer will executive produce as well as Brian O'Shea, Jeff Bowler and Nat McCormick for the Exchange.

"I am very excited about KICKBOXER being in Cannes" said O'Shea, "we have a visionary director, a strong Hollywood producer, great cast and an action packed script based on a well known property - what more can you ask for?"

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