Jaa to complete Ong Bak 2
Tony Jaa looks set to complete Ong Bak 2, although the studio have imposed some restrictions on him during the filming.
A meeting with the head of Sahamongkolfilm International has resulted in the agreement for them to fund the completion of the film with Jaa at the helm, although with careful monitoring. What's more bizarre is that the meeting took place in a police station.
We already heard that Tony Jaa had gone missing in the jungle during filming of Ong Bak 2, and that the studio were claiming that a huge budget had already been appropriated by the film, although not spent. When Jaa reappeared he was on a talk show claiming that he never had that amount of budget, and that deepened the mystery.
So when Variety had the story today that Jaa went into the National Police Office claiming he was being followed and that was where he met with the President of Sahamongkolfilm International, Somsak Techaratanaprasert, to discuss his return to the film, I really began to think that he was either losing it or that there was some conspiracy against him and the film.
It also appears that Jaa's lawyer had issued a set of demands to the studio which included a Baht 50 million (US $1.5 million) contract cancellation fee, they obviously refused and agreed to continue discussions only once Ong Bak 2 had been completed.
Apparently the meetings to agree the way forward have been ongoing for weeks, however they've finally been completed and it looks as though a solution has been found. Prachya Pinkaew, the director of Ong Bak and Tom yum goong (The Protector), and action choreographer Panna Rittkrai will monitor the production alongside Jaa, and I suspect that after Ong Bak 2 the relationship between Jaa and the studio will end, and perhaps Jaa's directing career as well.