Thursday, April 21, 2005

'Rings' producer wants to make Thai film

Lord of the Rings producer Barrie M Osborne plans make a drama called Round Five, about a Bangkok tuk-tuk driver who falls in love with a foreign tourist, The Nation has reported.

The reporter went as far as checking the Internet Movie Database, where plot spoilers and other bad news might be found. It lists the film's director as Wych Kaosayananda, who is internationally infamous as the director of Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever, a film that has a whopping 0 percent rating on the Rotten Tomatoes database.

Kaos, as he prefers to be called, has another film to his credit, a Thai action drama called Fah, not to be confused with Fah Talai Jone or Tears of the Black Tiger. Fah isn't very well regarded by critics, either, but it was enough of a box-office hit in Thailand that it got Kaos the job in Hollywood of directing Ballistic, which was made in those heady years just after Crouching Tiger, when Hollywood was nuts for any Asian director.

The 2006 project is listed as "in production" and has no details on the cast.

Osborne woudn't identity the leading actor or actress but said the hero would be Thai and the heroine a foreigner, The Nation said. Most of the cast would be hired in Thailand.

Round Five is budgeted at 400 million baht, or about US$10 million. According to The Nation, Osborne told Tourism Minister Somsak Thepsuthin that he would invest the money through Mullis Capital (Thailand) Co, a Bangkok-based film production house.

Osborne, also executive producer of The Matrix and many other hit films, said the film would depict local lifestyles as well as showcase the scenery of Phuket, Bangkok and surrounding areas.

Shooting would start in October and last six weeks. The film’s North American premiere is scheduled for next summer.

"The film will tell the story of a Buddhist Thai guy who has completed the monkhood and is now a tuk-tuk driver in the capital. Then he falls in love with a young beautiful tourist. But the two of them are from different backgrounds. The story will showcase Thai ways of life in various aspects including boxing, religion, fighting and narcotics issues," Osborne was quoted as saying.

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(Cross-published at Rotten Tomatoes)

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