Tony Jaa is ready to get back to work. And this time he'll be in 3D.
The martial-arts star, who entered the monkhood after a contentious time with studio Sahamongkolfilm International during the making Ong-Bak 2 and Ong-Bak 3, appeared at a press conference today alongside studio executive Somsak "Sia Jiang" Techaratanaprasert, as well as director Prachya Pinkaew and action choreographer Panna Rittikrai for the announcement of Tom-Yum-Goong 2 (ต้มยำกุ้ง2).
A sequel to the 2005 action drama that had Tony Jaa jet off to Australia in search of his missing elephant, Tom-Yum-Goong 2 will be in 3D.
Sahamongkol is reportedly budgeting 300 million baht for the picture. The movie's release will be sometime next year.
Ong-Bak and Tom-Yum-Goong helmer Prachya will again direct, after Tony Jaa took over the director's chair himself for the two Ong-Bak sequels and ran into budgetary problems that led to his celebrity meltdown. The movies got back on track when Tony's old mentor Panna took over as co-director. Panna will again lead the martial-arts stunt team on Tom-Yum-Goong 2.
Tom-Yum-Goong 2 will mark the first time another of Sahamongkol's major action stars, "Jeeja" Yanin Vismitananda, will co-star with Tony. She stars in the action-comedy Jakkalan (directed by and also starring Tom-Yum-Goong co-star Mum Jokmok), opening this week, is featured in the upcoming Korean-Thai co-production, The Kick (also with Mum) and is also set for a 3D sequel to her debut film Chocolate.
Comedian Petthai "Mum Jokmok" Wongkumlao was also present for the Tom-Yum-Goong 2 press conference. In the first Tom-Yum-Goong, he played a Thai-Australian police officer in Sydney's Thai community.
The announcement of Tom-Yum-Goong 2 follows rumors that Tony was unhappy with Sahamongkol and was looking to work overseas, and might star in a project by Hong Kong superstar Sammo Hung.