Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Jaa drops demands, agrees to finish Ong-Bak 2

Tony Jaa and Sahamongkol boss Somsak "Sia Jiang" Techaratanaprasert have shaken hands on an agreement that will see the wayward martial arts star return to the production of Ong-Bak 2 as lead actor and director.

Sia Jiang announced the deal yesterday in a press conference, which was held after an abrupt meeting by the studio exec and the star at Royal Thai Police Headquarters. It was the first time the two had met face-to-face since news about troubles with Ong-Bak 2 first surfaced two weeks ago.

Just how the meeting between Sia Jiang and Tony transpired is exceedingly strange. Tony and his lawyer had gone to police headquarters to seek protection, saying Jaa was being followed by a car full of mysterious men "in safari suits." Update: Police deputy commissioner-general Jongrak Chuthanond then called his friend Sia Jiang to the station, according to Bangkok of the Mind.

With the deputy commissioner acting as a mediator, both sides, with their lawyers, reached an agreement that the action star would finish the remainder of Ong Bak 2. About 80 percent of the filming is complete, leaving some big, climactic action sequences left to do. Jaa also agreed to cancel the seven demands submitted by his lawyer last week, which included an extra 55 million baht and a flat 50-million-baht share of the revenue.

Sahamongkol execs were not going to agree any of the demands, and there was a chance Tony would lose out on his 25-percent net revenue share if he didn't complete the film, Sia Jiang said.

Tony had also demanded that he be let out of his 10-year exclusive talent contract with Sahamongkol. “We’ll talk about details of Jaa’s future only when he finishes the movie,” Somsak was quoted as saying in today's Daily Xpress.

Flanked by Tony's mentor, producer Panna Rittikrai and producer Prachya Pinkaew, Sia Jiang held his press conference at House cinema on Royal City Avenue, the same place the trio had held a press conference last week, in which Sia Jiang tearfully confided he treated Tony "like a son".

Yesterday, Sia Jiang revealed he had given Tony Jaa a total of 36 million baht for personal spending, in supplement to the star's 50,000-baht monthly salary.

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(Photo via Kom Chad Luek)


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