Well, what have we here? With the American Film Market just around the corner, Sahamongkol Film have just released the first teaser art for Tony Jaa's Ong Bak 3 and while teaser art does not always bear a direct connection to finished product, if this one does then it certainly raises some interesting questions. And prime among them is that it does not appear to these eyes to be set in the same time period as Ong Bak 2. Which would mean - I presume - that the three films together represent some sort of karmic reincarnation cycle for Jaa. At the very least we can definitely say that he has considerably better hair this time out.
Beyond this it's hard to say much of anything. According to the producers, the production is in the home stretch now with a Thai release targeted for the first quarter of 2010. But specifics on story line and who's doing what are being kept quiet. Dan Chupong is said to be reprising his character from the end of Ong Bak 2 and the initial plan was to reuse some of the very large - and very expensive - standing sets created for Ong Bak 2. Who's directing? Again, hard to say. Both Jaa and mentor Panna Rittikrai were listed last time I looked but given Jaa's very public meltdown on set last time out and the fact that Rittikrai reportedly held back some Ong Bak 2 footage for use in this third installment when he took over that troubled production, the Jaa directing credit could simply be a reference back to that earlier material. Or they could be working hand in hand on this one. Only time will tell ...
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