Three items involving Tony Jaa:
- Twitch has more on Vanguard (急先锋) the dream project by Hong Kong producer Raymond Wong that would see a match-up between Jaa and Donnie Yen. More speculative casting mentions South Korean soap-opera starlet Song Hye-kyo and English-born, Brooklyn-raised actor Wentworth Miller from Prison Break. The report is via the Chinese-language Mtime.com.
- Along with Hollywood hopes, Jaa says in an interview with the Indian press that he "would love to do a Bollywood project". That would probably be better than anything Hollywood could come up with. Doing a bit of my own speculative casting, I'd love to see Jaa star in an action movie with Akshay Kumar.
- Lastly, let the Ong-Bak 2 lawsuits begin. Trouble on the set of Ong-Bak 2 last year was mainly rooted in financial troubles the martial-arts star was having. Now the fallout begins. According to a brief in The Nation today ("Ong-Bak star hit with lawsuit", page 15A), "Thatchakorn Yeerum [that's Tony] was sued by a South Korean woman who claims the actor and director failed to repay a 1 million baht loan after the launch of Ong-Bak 2." The plaintiff, Park Aun-hee (also stated as Oon Hee Park) is in the business of buying and selling film copyrights. The item goes on to say "the dispute was more complicated, and more lawsuits might be filed". There's also a story in the Bangkok Post.
Tony was said to be taking a break from work on Ong-Bak 3 to spend the King's birthday holiday with his parents in Buriram.
Update: The Bangkok Post's Mae Moo gossip column recaps last year's meltdown. Here's a taste:
Jaa went back to work on [Ong-Bak 2], which was released in December. A third instalment is now planned, with Jaa again directing, though Sia Jiang [Sahamongkol head honcho Somsak Techaratanaprasert] said he does not want Jaa directing the fourth part.
During his troubles last year, Jaa's lawyer was Jarupol Reuangkeht -- the same man who has now emerged to represent Ms Park, who is in Korea. Mr Jaruporn said he is a lawyer for hire, and his new client is Ms Park.
Jaa's elder brother admits Jaa took out the loan, but said he had sent a lawyer to negotiate. Jaa was still waiting for his share of the proceeds from Ong-Bak 2. As soon as he received the money, he would repay the loan.