Tony Jaa To Direct Again, Co-Star With JCVD

Founder and Editor; Toronto, Canada (@AnarchistTodd)
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Tony Jaa To Direct Again, Co-Star With JCVD
[UPDATE, 8:30am EST, Jan 28. We have confirmed that the international project referred to in The Nation is NOT any one of the Hong Kong based projects that Jaa has been linked to in the past but is a Thai based production aiming to have an international cast. Sources tell us that - as has been the case with literally every other international production Jaa has been linked to thus far - it is still quite early in the development process with elements very much subject to change.]

Tony Jaa is gearing up to get busy.

With principal photography on the long delayed Tom Yum Goong 2 finally nearing an end, Thailand's The Nation is reporting that plans are moving ahead for two new projects involving the Thai action star.

Up first is an international production which The Nation says is to co-star Ong Bak side man Mum Jokmok as well as Jean Claude Van Damme. This may very well be the Hong Kong based project that Twitch reported on in April of 2011 which features Sammo Hung as action choreographer.

Also in the works? Though specifics are almost entirely non-existent word is that Jaa recently held a ceremony without press to bless an upcoming film he plans to both direct and star in. There are literally no details beyond that, though mentor and fight choreographer Panna Rittikrai also attended, along with Fighting Fish director Julaluck Ismalone.This would mark the second directing effort for Jaa, and the first since the absolutely disastrous behind the scenes chaos of Ong Bak 2. Will he be able to hold it together this time? Time will tell.
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Al YoungJanuary 27, 2013 4:28 PM

I'm surprised that Tony Jaa is given another shot at directing after the meltdown incident. I have a bad feeling on TYG 2. It doesn't seem wise to juggle marriage while filming at the same time. With Jeeja pregnant, I'm guessing Chocolate 2 is put on hold indefinitely.

BelmontHeirJanuary 27, 2013 5:05 PM

Actually, I think Jeeja literally just gave birth a few days ago...but yeah, I expect 'Chocolate 2' is the last thing on her mind right now.

Todd BrownJanuary 27, 2013 5:19 PM

They should have handed out condoms on the set of TYG2.

cuttermaranJanuary 27, 2013 7:20 PM

Hate writings like this "...since the absolutely disastrous behind the scenes chaos of Ong Bak 2..." keep me to avoid Twitch. I used to love this site.

MartenJanuary 27, 2013 9:38 PM

Considering it's a factual and well-known incident that Tony Jaa did have a nervous breakdown and abruptly left the movie set for almost two months during the filming of Ong Bak 2, there is nothing remotely offensive in his comment. Nevertheless, all could've been forgiven if Ong Bak 2 & 3 didn't turn out as disastrous as they did. Let hope Tony's career rebounds this year.

Todd BrownJanuary 27, 2013 11:09 PM

Any film that involves its director and lead star running away and hiding for two months can fairly be termed a behind the scenes disaster. Likewise a movie forcibly taken away from its director because the production was completely out of control.. Likewise a movie broken in half at the final hour and completely rewritten in an attempt to stretch out what they had into two movies because it had run so badly over schedule and budget that this was their only prayer of making their investment back. This is all simple, factual stuff. Don't blame the messenger.

This is all well documented stuff that pertains absolutely to Tony's viability as a filmmaker. Are we hashing out his personal life? No. I made a conscious choice NOT to talk about the family issues mentioned in that Nation article, because they're not relavent, just as I've chosen NOT to talk about a number of other issues on the set of TYG2, which actually ARE relevant but are personal in a way I'd feel kind of dirty dipping into. But some people just aren't happy unless they're seeing conspiracies against their favorite stars ...

Rick SomchaiJanuary 28, 2013 12:08 AM

What about SPL2 what happened to that project???

Todd BrownJanuary 28, 2013 12:18 AM

Haven't heard anything recently. Pretty much every international project with Tony so far has involved a good amount of wishful thinking on the parts of the producers out there talking about them. Nothing has ever been as form as it's been made to seem. SPL2 is the one I'd most like to see, though.

Rick SomchaiJanuary 28, 2013 3:13 AM

Yeah I seen some photos shared with me by Kazu Tang and the ceremony for his new film have like zero people there with him... I think he might be ok as for directing I know he messed up before but you got to admit the camera work and epic shots where there, he just had a hard time directing his crew hopfuly he has corrected that. Also he knows we dont want magic and the damn facts of life in a film. we want hard fighting and violence. no more talking heads please oh and Neo from the Matrix ...

Rick SomchaiJanuary 28, 2013 6:44 AM

Todd Brown thank you for not getting dirty about this news from TYG2 there is alot going on, on the set that many might not agree with, but understand Jaa has been allowed to take such steps because of Thai culture. Sia Jiang treats them all like their his children and grants them alot of freedom, there is no rush. He grants them the opertunity to film a movie but in the same time still make time for their personal lives. This freedom Jaa or Prachya Pinkaew would never have under any other circumstances. I know that might sound strange to say it is because of that or hard to understand, but truth be told in manys eyes the only time Jaa was out of line is when he fled the set of Ong Bak 2. also he did not run off into the jungle and hide or loose his mind as some lead us to think. During this time Jaa was with his now wife and this seems to be more then likly a big factor in his disappearance. Was it a smart move. no but he did not have some kind of melt down. He was just looking at what all men do lol a woman. he put the booty befor work and as we all know booty can get a guy in trouble.

Todd BrownJanuary 28, 2013 8:24 AM

You know, Sia Jiang is an interesting figure in all of this and someone who I think deserves to take a lot more heat for his role in everything. The lack of attention to the development process at Sahamongkol is certainly something that comes down to him but more relevant is just the total lack of oversight and care for their young stars.

You can make a very good argument that a company that is signing this relatively young, inexperienced people from totally non-entertainment backgrounds and thrusting them into the spotlight in very restrictive, controlling contracts, where they basically own their entire professional lives has some sort of obligation to make sure that their people are given the tools to succeed. Hell, even the NBA - which does a ton of stuff wrong - has mandatory classes for all new draftees to teach them how to interact with media, protect their personal lives, manage their finances, maintain good nutrition, etc.

But Tony? Though it hit extremes I don't think anybody expected, what happened with Ong Bak 2 was so predictable it's not funny. You don't take a guy who has never directed, never written, never produced, never been a fight choreographer and put him into all those roles at once - plus starring - in what is by far the highest budgeted film of his career, and expect it to go well. Sia, in my opinion, set Tony up to fail. He should never, ever have been put into those roles without a lot of experienced hands in key positions on the crew to supervise him, which he clearly didn't have until the production was taken away and Panna put in charge in his place.

One of the key factors that led to him melting down and running away was the financial pressure of being way over budget - something he somehow hid and tried to compensate for by mortgaging his house and pumping that money into the film. HOW CAN THIS POSSIBLY HAPPEN? How does Sahamongkol not know that they're running massively over budget and schedule? They see the dailies, they know what's been shot. They - which ultimately means Sia - just sat back and watched as this happened and did nothing about it until it was far too late. He needs to eat a good amount of this.

In my opinion Dan Chupong has been mismanaged as well while they seem to be going the other way with Jeeja and working her as hard as they can, in as many films as they can possibly run her through to make a buck before her moment is up without really giving her the sorts of signature parts she needs to keep her star value high and give her career some longevity.

Todd BrownJanuary 28, 2013 8:32 AM

If this comes through and he directs again, yes, I would very much like to see him work with the same DP / camera crew as on Ong Bak 2. The visuals on that film were pretty damn remarkable. But, yes, he also needs a very firm, experienced producer on set with him to keep things running smoothly, a better script supervisor, and a lot more time spent in preparation. The OB2 stories of Jaa trying to work out choreography the same morning they were due to shoot is enough to give any producer / financier heart attacks ...

Boris PifarreJanuary 28, 2013 10:19 AM

HI Todd the project Tony and van damme is a dream!!! is rumor or true? Sorry my inglish is very bad im speak French and spanish.

Kevin CelebiJanuary 28, 2013 10:59 AM

Speaking of Van Damme, whatever happened to his scheduled fight with the Thai boxer Somluck Kamsing? According to Wikipedia it was scheduled for December 2012 in Las Vegas but I can't find any other info.

Todd BrownJanuary 28, 2013 11:02 AM

Good question ... I remember JCVD posting photos of himself while he was training for it, so he was definitely planning to do it but I don't remember hearing anything about it ...

Jerry JohnsonJanuary 28, 2013 3:23 PM

I remember him talking about it on his reality show. He said he may not do it then he cried. He cried in just about every episode.

Jerry JohnsonJanuary 28, 2013 3:26 PM

This was meant for reply to Kevin celebi ?

Flower & MonsterJanuary 30, 2013 10:44 AM

I hope he figures out that to be a good director is to hire good people around you so you don't have a nervous breakdown.

Tien KwonJanuary 31, 2013 5:31 PM

I heard that Sammo did something in court legally so that Donnie and them couldn't do a sequel.

tman418January 31, 2013 5:40 PM

"With principal photography on the long delayed Tom Yum Goong 2 finally nearing an end,"

Wait, I thought TYG 2 was going to be released in May of 2013, this year. Did something change? Has nothing been actually filmed yet?

Todd BrownJanuary 31, 2013 8:03 PM

They've shot a lot but last I heard they still weren't done. Very unlikely to hit that May release.