Tony Jaa missing, Ong Bak 2 threatened
Waiting for the new film from Tony Jaa, Ong Bak 2, might take a little longer than expected as it has been revealed that he's gone missing right in the middle of filming.
Jaa has been working on the film for nearly three years now, and reports have been that he's been stressed out by the filming so he heading into the jungle to meditate. Meanwhile a replacement director has been lined up.
There are, of course, rumours floating that Tony Jaa has spent a fortune on the film as he's been directing, his first time in the director's chair, however the production team have denied that and Somsak Techaratanaprasert of Sahamongkol Film International stated quite clearly:
"I guarantee that this is not a case of financial fraud, and I have no intention of pursuing any legal action against him...We're running behind schedule, and some of our international contracts have been cancelled because of that. I know he loves this film very much, so I just want him to finish the film because there's only a little work left."
However they have a film to finish and money to earn back, and they can't wait forever, so Variety report that they have a director lined up to take his place. Prachya Pinkaew directed two films featuring the great martial artist, Ong Bak and Tom yum goong (The Protector) and he is ready to take the director's chair, complete the filming, and edit it all together into a film for release.
"Jaa has little experience directing...He's spent nearly $7.8 million. The film is almost finished, so I'll try to see what I can do with the footage that he's shot."
It is worrying where he's gone, especially since he is such a great talent, the work he did in those first two films was truly stunning and I found it hard to believe that he could do some of the things he did.
Ong Bak 2 was lining up to be an incredible film with stunning fight sequences as Jaa took on all manner of martial arts. You can see from this previous extended trailer how many different arts were going to be involved.
This would fit with a previous story back in May of 2007 when we heard that the Weinstein's were trying to sell the film's worldwide distribution rights back, this was probably so they could recoup losses to date and perhaps then they sensed problems.
Whatever happened, it looks like the film may be taken over and completed by someone else, which might prove difficult with no Tony Jaa, after all he is the lead of the film too. Hopefully though, this is just some press to get focus back on the film to help get it completed and Jaa will return.