Michael Dudikoff

  1. Kurt McKinney, American Ninja 3: Blood Hunt, 1988. The  ninja andanti-apartheid Dudikoff, refused to film agaiin South Afrioa, where his second Ninja film had been shot.  He returned for American Ninja 4: The Annihilation, 1990  – made in nearby Lesotho.
  2. Matt Salinger, Captain America,1989.First screen version of the WWII propaganda comicbook hero – Defender of the Defenceless – since Republic’s 1944 serial (with Dick Purcell), and two  1979 tele-quickies (Rep Brown).  A 1981 Universal plan, sub-headed Sentinel of Liberty, with Jeff Bridges Cap Am never flew. Nor did Cannon’s 1984 take which UK director Michael Winner never got around to casting (well, not out loud).  Producer Menahem Golan, quit Cannon, started (but not for long) 21st Century Films and brought Cap and Cannon regulars with him: director Albert Pyun, actor Michael Dudikoff, Mr American Ninja.But Pyun wanted ex-footballer Howie Long! (“manliest man on the planet,” said Hunter S Thompson). He also saw Brian Bosworth, VaL Kilmer (he quit for The Doors), Dolph Lundgren (did his own frozen hero bit with Universal Soldier), Arnold Schwarzenegger (mitt dat accent), even Richard Thomas from The Waltons(Cannon’s earlier choice for Red Skull).  And the winner was…the son of JD Salinger, no less!   Director and star were Cap Am fans as kids. Not evident from this mess. “Pretty difficult to make a film when… we actually had no money in the bank,” said Pyun. (Told you Golan was producing). Designed to coincide with Cap ‘s 50th birthday in 1990 (when Chris Evans was nine),  the film never got a US release until 21 years later to cash in on Marvel showing how it should be done.
  3. Chuck Norris, Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection, 1989.   Norris was not keen on any sequel, and Cannon called in its B-action American Ninja series heroes to be Colonel Scott McCoy and Major Bobby Chavez. But Dudikoff and Steve James never fancied what was then called Spitfire: Delta Force II. Norris then returned with a revised script and new director – his brother, Aaron. (He had directed Dudikoff in Platoon Leader, 1988).
  4. Robert Burke, RoboCop 3, 1991.     Poor Burke was stuck in the RoboCop 2 suit made for the shorter Peter Weller. Not released until late 1993. (The movie, not the actor!).


 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  4