Founder and Editor; Toronto, Canada (@AnarchistTodd)
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Panna Rittikrai and Dan Chupong are getting back together.

Best known as the mentor to and fight choreographer for Tony Jaa, Rittikrai had a long career as a screen fighter and director himself, the man plying his trade in a string of ultra low budget grinders never seen anywhere outside of Thailand until Jaa vaulted him to fame. And so when Rittikrai was given the first real budget of his career in 2004 to direct Born To Fight - a remake of one of his own earlier titles - nobody thought that much of it. It was, among other things, simply a gesture of respect from producers Sahamongkol, a thank you to the veteran performer who had groomed and prepared Tony Jaa to become by far their biggest star and largest export and expectations for the film, anchored by one of Ong Bak's lead stunt performers and a handful of Olympic grade Thai athletes, were minimal.

This is ironic, really, because Born To Fight now stands as one of the high points in Sahamongkol's action catalog, an enormously entertaining picture with huge replay value and it's more than a little perplexing that it wasn't the start of a string of pairings for Rittikrai and star Dan Chupong. After all, the Pinkaew / Jaa pairing was working out pretty well, so why not keep this one going?

Well, it's been nine years (!!!) since Born To Fight now and Chupong and Rittikrai are finally getting back together. The duo - along with rising action star Nattawut Boonrabsap - are now in production on a new action picture titled Vengeance Of An Assassin. The image and title are all we've got on this one for now but, really ... what more do you need?
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ActionDan Chupongmartial artsPanna Rittikraithailandvengeance of an assassinNantawooti BoonrapsapKessarin EktawatkulChatchapol Kulsiriwuthichai

More about Vengeance Of An Assassin

Andrew MackApril 19, 2013 3:53 PM

Excellent news. Perhaps this pairing can get Thailand back on good standing in the international action scene.

MikeApril 19, 2013 7:02 PM

It does seem like things have been pretty quiet on the action front coming out of Thailand lately. I don't know if that's TYG2 taking forever to actually get made or if I've just missed something that has been released.

Bastian MeiresonneApril 20, 2013 4:42 AM

Both Panna & Dan have worked immediately after BORN TO FIGHT success on TABUNFIRE (aka Dynamite Warrior), which has had (curiously) NO success anywhere on the world - which made SAHAMONGKOL VERY hesitant about any other "bigger" project (especially after later moderate BO sucesses of CHOCOLATE, SOM TUM and...ONG BAK 2 - which all were THE martial arts movies, which should have brought all fame in - not spoken of kids martial arts flick POWER KIDS). AND there has been Panna's failure with BKO: Bangkok Knockout.

I guess, that's mainly the reason of many missed opportunities in Thai martial arts movies...

IronsApril 20, 2013 10:28 AM

Hey, haven't heard of you since last summer, when you almost tried to copulate with Kara Hui at the Paris Cinéma Festival...

Bastian MeiresonneApril 21, 2013 7:18 AM

Hmmm...don't think it was ME - as much as I LOVE Kara Hui, my passion wouldn't be THAT much ;) and, well, was pretty busy doing my documentary about Indonesian Cinema, presenting largest retrospective of Indonesian movies ever in Vesoul and all kind of things realted to Asian Cinema in several festivals. See you during next PARIS CINEMA, then?