Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Ong-Bak 2 announced for Midnight Madness at Toronto International Film Festival

Third in a 10-film lineup announced in a flurry on Twitter, the Toronto International Film Festival's Midnight Madness program will have Ong-Bak 2, or as it's now being called, Ong-Bak 2: The Beginning.

"Tony Jaa will crack your skull ... see it on the big screen for full effect!" enthused the Mad Tweeter Colin Geddes.

That TIFF would have the latest effort by Tony Jaa is really no surprise. Midnight Madness featured the first Ong-Bak in 2003 as well as the sister street-fighter effort Chocolate last year.

Ong-Bak 2 is the second Thai film announced for this year's program. Pen-ek Ratanaruang's Nymph is already there, screening in the Visions section.

It's what I guess is the Canadian premiere for Ong-Bak 2, having already made its North American festival premiere earlier this year at South By Southwest.

And there's been the release in France, which I haven't paid much attention to because I haven't been able to determine the truth about whether it's been cut, how much it's been cut or whether it's been rescored by Luc Besson's Europa Corp., which picked Ong-Bak 2 up for distribution.

For the U.S., Ong-Bak 2 is being handled by Magnola Pictures' Magnet label -- not The Weinstein Company. Lot of confusion about that all over the Internet. The Weinsteins did have it at one point, but got cold feet when they saw it was going to be a period movie and wouldn't directly follow the storyline of the first Ong-Bak. Their loss will hopefully be Magnolia's gain.

TIFF's "see it on the BIG SCREEN for full effect" Twitter shouting is possibly an answer to the various DVD releases and torrents, as well as Magnet's release strategy, which has Ong-Bak 2 coming out on video-on-demand on September 25, a month ahead of the theatrical release on October 23.

The Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 10 to 19.

Update: Here's the press release.

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