The Thai action star who is best known for his Ong Bak films is joining the heavy-duty cast of Fast and Furious 7, which will be his first English speaking role.
With the adrenaline-fueled picture already boasting actor Jason Statham as its villain, Jaa’s addition is an exciting piece to the film’s puzzle. For the uninitiated, Tony is a critically-acclaimed stuntman-turned-actor who spent his younger days as an elephant herder. Growing up on the martial arts films of Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee and Jet Li, he decided to follow in their footsteps with his Ong Bak trilogy, which were worldwide smash hits, and considered a symbol of national pride in his home country.
“I have been a big fan of the Fast and Furious franchise,” said Jaa via e-mail from his native country of Thailand. “The films are fast-paced, fun and keep the audience involved. There is a great mix of humor and action, something I really appreciate. There is no better film to be involved in for a first U.S. studio production.”
Director James Wan (The Conjuring) is proposing that the project will get off the starting blocks this September on an accelerated schedule to meet a July 11, 2014, release date. Wan is tasked with the duty of defy more logic and physics with vehicles, while combining the skill set of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Paul Walker, and Vin Diesel.
Jaa was asked if he was looking forward to going mano-a-mano with the two muscle-bound stars and, more importantly, who would win in a fight. He responded by saying, “Having a chance to work with Vin Diesel and The Rock already makes me a winner.”
As Jaa’s role is still immersed in mystery, especially since the seventh installment of the film is in such flux, the project seems set to partly return to its Los Angeles roots with a tale of revenge against our heroes for killing off Luke Evans’ Owen Shaw.
Will Tony Jaa’s crazy skill set add onto the excitement of Fast and Furious 7?
Props: Empire Online