I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Tony Jaa starring in SPL2

tn_tygTony Jaa must be officially out of the jungle now because after finishing the long awaited TOM YUM GOONG 2 and in the midst of shooting THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS 7 and a Dolph Lundgren movie called SKIN TRADE he just announced this on Facebook:

I am really excited to tell you that I will be starring in SPL 2, the sequel to the action thriller SPL (Sha Po Lang). I am equally excited to have Wu Jen the star of Legendary Assassin as my co-star. There are some really neat additional cast members that you will hear about soon and the action will be amazing. SPL 2 will shoot next Spring after I finish the shoot of Skin Trade with my friend Dolph Lundgren.

In case you don’t recognize the name, SPL is the Donnie Yen/Sammo Hung movie that both I and Paul really enjoyed under the Weinsteinized title KILL ZONE. So this might be the long rumored collaboration between Hung and Jaa. IMDb still lists Hung as returning. It has original director Wilson Yip listed as producer, with Pou-Soi Cheang (who recently finished THE MONKEY KING with Yen and Chow Yun Fat) directing.

SKINTRADE is one Dolph’s been trying to make for a while. He co-write it, but the director will be Ekachai Uekrongtham (BEAUTIFUL BOXER).

Jaa has been practicing his English and seems to be enjoying himself, posting lots of great pictures of himself on Facebook and Twitter. There’s lot of training and fight stills plus him posing with some of our favorite action stars. Here he is with Dolph, wearing the greatest pants of all time. Here’s what he and JCVD did before dinner. Somewhere in there there’s one with Michael Jai White, and he claims to have been a huge fan of SPAWN growing up.

here’s the full Facebook post with a goofy picture of Jaa and Wu Jen (aka Wu Jing or Jacky Wu) posing together.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

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12 Responses to “Tony Jaa starring in SPL2”

  1. I was all set to be excited, but then I saw Pou-Soi Cheang’s name. He’s the guy who did Dog Bite Dog and Shamo, which both give the distinct impression that he HATES action. Too bad. This could have been good.

  2. According to IMDb A MAN WILL RISE will also star both Dolph and Tony. Anyone?

  3. Dolph has a villain role in AMWR, something cowboy-themed, but I don’t think it’s supposed to be the main villain or anything. Should be interesting, at any rate.

  4. I dunno what Lummox is smoking, but Pou-Soi Cheang is one hellava talented director who’s made some of the best, bleakest thrillers of this or any other era.

    If Dog Bite Dog and Shamo had any short comings in their action (they didn’t) its that their leading men were pretty boy/tiger beat kinda actors for whom they weren’t necessarily more skilled at action then they were at looking handsome (the Drive effect, wherein the violence is more disturbing because the guy doing it looks like a Ken doll). That obviously wouldn’t be a problem here.

    Frankly, I’d be surprised is Cheang actually takes the job, as he’s coming off a $100 million Monkey King flick starring Donnie Yen, I would think he could write his own ticket and make another film as despairing and awesome as Love Battlefield or Dog Bite Dog.

    But its great news that Tony Jaa is making movies again, that he’s escaped the Thai film industry that was obviously chafing him, and that Wu Jing gets a leading role in anything.

  5. I must say, a lot of these sequels confuse me these days. Is he playing the Donnie Yen part? Is it a completely different set of characters in a similarly themed story? Seems like too often they just slap a familiar title on the poster to boost the sales.

    Still, more Jaa is a good thing.

    I still haven’t watched those Ong Bak sequels, simply because the one distributor we have of Asian cinema here in South Africa, Impact Video, only ever release the dubbed versions. They have some great action titles, but no subtitles means no sale, in my book.

  6. I’m probably going to get a lot of shit for this but if you take away the few fight scenes at the end of SPL, it’s not really that enjoyable of a movie. In fact, I find it really depressing. I know that violence is actually bad but I don’t want a movie to point out just how bad violence is while having some amazing fight scenes. Nothing good comes out of violence in this movie.

  7. 2014: The Year Tony Jaa Reminds The World What A Badass Looks Like

  8. Ok gang, it’s time to put our heads together and pull off whatever Much Ado About Nothing type schennanigans it will take to get Gareth Evans and Tony Jaa locked in a room together. Nature will take it’s course from there.

  9. Yup, those pants ARE great!

  10. I would love to see Iko Uwais vs Tony Jaa. I think I like silat on film more than muay thai but I’m weird like that.

  11. It’s been said before, but it’s worth repeating that Lundgren’s pants are truly awe inspiring.

  12. Just saw this as SPL II: A TIME FOR CONSEQUENCES, but I guess there may still be Time For Weinsteinizing that. I gotta say I loved it. It’s bigger and messier than KILL ZONE, and I really don’t understand how Simon Yam’s Detective Chan is back 10 years after he died. No sign of Sammo Hung, but Louis Koo, who I failed to spot till the end credits, does show up as Mr Hung. Jaa’s character has a kid to fight for, not an elephant or a statue, but it really works for him and he has a lovely, if predictable, nod to BLADE.

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