Saturday, April 13, 2013

Tony Jaa saddles up for A Man Will Rise

Tony Jaa and Dolph Lundren. Photo via Twitch.

Doggedly pursuing any news of Tony Jaa, TwitchFilm is reporting on the martial-arts star's long-awaited first foray into "international" action filmmaking, A Man Will Rise, in which Jaa co-stars with the great Dolph Lundgren.

Others taking part are David "Mad Dog" Ismalone, Jakkrit Kanokpodjananon and Game of Thrones original Ser Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane himself, Conan Stevens.

Set in 1950s Thailand, it has a sort-of Tears of the Black Tiger sound to it, with Jaa as a plucky local hero standing up to gunslinging foreigner cowboys.

The Nation's Soopsip column today implies that Jaa's father figure at Sahamongkol Film International, executive producer Somsak “Sia Jiang” Techaratanaprasert, is involved. He's nicknamed the project Ai Noom Kangnam or Kangnam Boy, which has to be a joke. Soopsip also names a possible director – Vitidnan Rojanapanich. He's best known as the first Thai to scale Mount Everest, which seems like the perfect training for someone to be able to deal with the troubled artist that is Tony Jaa.

Jaa had earlier been rumored to be in a project with Jean Claude Van Damme.

Meanwhile, it appears that filming has finally wrapped up on the long-awaited Tom-Yum-Goong 2 (ต้มยำกุ้ง 2), which had earlier been tipped for possible release in May. That ain't happening, Twitch says.

TYG2, which is Sahamongkol's first foray into 3D and is likely undergoing some pretty extensive post-production work, is being positioned as a major tentpole for an auspicious date in December. Or maybe an auspicious date in August.

Production on TYG2 was troubled to say the least, with Jaa taking a break from the shoot to get married to his feisty pregnant bride (whom he met while making Ong-Bak 3). If that weren't enough, co-star Jeeja Yanin hooked up with an assistant director and got pregnant.

So who knows who and what was actually captured on film for TYG2. We'll only know for sure if and when it unspools in front of our eyes.

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