Swelter, the upcoming brutally violent heist drama written and directed by Keith Palmer (Mob Rules) has sold out internationally at the American Film Market (AFM). A North American rights deal is still in negotiations.
Although Jean-Claude Van Damme (Sudden Death, Robocop) is front and center for marketing, it is not a Jean-Claude Van Damme film. The movie features an ensemble cast including Alfred Molina (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Abduction), Lennie James (The Walking Dead), Freya Tingley (Once Upon A Time) and Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full Of Grace and just cast in the upcoming Castro’s Daughter).
Van Damme plays Stillman, who is not the main bad guy. According to writer-director Keith Palmer in an interview with Manly Movie, “Stillman is a supporting character, but an integral part of the story. It was important to find the right character to play him because he’s actually the heart and soul of what’s going on. Through the Stillman character you see the development of the story.”
Swelter tells the story of a notorious Las Vegas robbery where 5 men rob the Luxor Hotel and Casino of $100 million dollars. Four members of the gang are captured and sent to a maximum security prison. The fifth member narrowly escapes, but 10 years later he is pursued by his four partners who have blasted their way to freedom and are greedily seeking their money and retribution.
Swelter was shot on location in California and Nevada. From his Manly Movie interview Palmer states, “What we were trying to do is give audiences something new, it’s essentially a modern western but moves in a way to keep a modern audience interested. It’s unique, it’s more of a mix of genres than a straight action movie.” On the fact that Jean-Claude Van Damme was willing to play a supporting role, Palmer explains, “He wanted to show people he is a serious actor, that he can do what people would never expect of him.”
Swelter is produced by Alan Simpson and Chris Ranta, and it is the first film funded by Exchange Peaks Film Capital.
Jean-Claude Van Damme can be seen in the soon to be released thriller Enemies Closer, directed by Peter Hyams and written by Eric and James Bromberg, which is due for a U.S. theatrical run beginning January 24.
Watch the Enemies Closer trailer here: