I’ve been following the news about Ong Bak 2 and the trials of Tony Jaa over at Twitch Film since the earliest news about Tony retreating to a cave and practicing black magic started circulating. The story has a real Dave Chappelle quality to it where it’s fraught with crazy rumors and conjecture but the very foundation of this story is about Tony Jaa’s inability to finish shooting Ong Bak 2, a reported nervous breakdown and legendary production problems (like going way, way over budget). The latest rumors out of Thailand were that after a press conference where he broke down into tears on TV, he was whisked away in a car having been kidnapped. I don’t think he has been kidnapped, but he did issue a list of demands in order to finish Ong Bak 2.
He wants a lot of money to finish it, he wants Panna Rittikrai involved, a bigger share of the profit and an end to his contract with Sahamongkol. His production company, apparently, was not pleased and how they dealt with it is a mystery but Jaa turned up in a police station reporting that he was being followed by a car full of guys in safari suits. Sahamonkol head, Sia Jiang, turned up at the police station to talk to Jaa, who then promptly dropped the demands and agreed to finish the movie.
You know? I was really looking forward to this movie and at one time I was calling Tony Jaa the new Jackie Chan what with the high energy martial arts movies and his acrobatic skills that had the ability to thrill even the most jaded martial arts fans. I’m not so sure we’re going to be seeing much of Tony in the future.
Edit: Scratch that. I’m still looking forward to this. Look at this promo reel!