Lionheart (1990)

Lionheart (1990) is a martial art action film directed by Sheldon Lettich, who also wrote the screenplay from a story written by Jean-Claude Van Damme. The film stars Jean-Claude van Damme and co-stars Brian Thompson, with Harrison Page, Deborah Rennard, Lisa Pelikan, and Ashley Johnson.

In Lionheart (1990) an Ex-French Soldier begins participating in underground street fights in order to make money for his brother’s family.

Sheldon Lettich, who co-wrote Bloodsport (1988), the film that turned Jean-Claude Van Damme into a star, says in an interview with Evan Sathoff Lettich that

Lionheart was a defining film for Van Damme because I did not shy away from giving him considerable amounts of dialogue and character development throughout the film. I trusted him to pull this off, whereas before nobody else believed he could do much more than just deliver some fancy kicks and simple one-liners. Lionheart was the first movie to demonstrate that Van Damme was more than just a flash-in-the-pan “Karate Guy” who would never rise above simplistic low-budget karate movies.

According to Lettich, Lionheart (1990) was the first film where Van Damme shows off his backside in the shower scene and showing off his backside, clothed or unclothed, kind of became he signature trademark.