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MDP, Diamant set pic Van Damme in action on ‘Knock Off’

Proving that the big-budget action genre is still a mainstay of the American Film Market, Mark Damon’s MDP Worldwide and veteran indie producer Moshe Diamant unveiled at a Saturday-night reception “Knock Off,” a $35 million pic featuring action star Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Diamant will produce and Hong Kong action helmer Tsui Hark is set to direct from a script by Steven de Souza (the first two “Die Hard” pics). “Knock Off” pits the Muscles from Brussels, playing a designer-jeans rep, against a world terrorist conspiracy.

Set to begin lensing in Hong Kong in May, filming will take place as the former British colony is transferred to Chinese rule.

“We are obviously thrilled to be working with Moshe and Jean-Claude again,” Damon said. “We are proud to be the only Western film allowed to shoot during such a historic period, and the large-scale parades, ceremonies and special functions will bring an even greater production value to the film.”

Diamant last teamed with Tsui on “Double Team,” the Sony/Mandalay pic scheduled to be released in April. Diamant and Damon previously teamed on Van Damme’s “The Quest.”

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