Actor Tony Jaa (Furious Seven, xXx: The Return Of Xander Cage) is officially at the tip of the spear for a new action franchise targeting a hopeful trilogy from Starlight Entertainment (Midway, Crazy Rich Asians), Deadline’s Andreas Wiseman reported exclusively on Thursday. It is being billed as an English-language action trilogy and is being produced by Jaa, along with Peter Luo (Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark) and Mike Selby (Triple Threat).
In the first installment of what is hoped will be a three-picture franchise, Muay Thai master Jaa will play a legendary assassin who disappeared three years ago and becomes the target of all criminal organizations and law enforcement agencies. According to producers, the story will unfold in an unconventional structure and as the manhunt accelerates, the mystery of the assassin’s identity is slowly unraveled.
Starlight is fully financing and is aiming to shoot next year; The firm previously announced Silent, with Jaa also attached and is still in development.
The new franchise move here for Jaa is just the latest update with the action superstar, best known for lighting up the cinemas with a renewed and breakout focus for Thai martial arts thrills for international audiences with the Ong Bak trilogy, and Tom Yum Goong 1 & 2. Jaa is currently two-for-two in the world of Hollywood sci-fi with next month’s U.S. release of Dimitri Logothetis’s comic book adaptation, Jiu Jitsu starring Nicolas Cage and Alain Moussi, and Paul W.S. Anderson’s Milla Jovovich-led Monster Hunter in December.
Starlight CEO Luo, who originated the movie for Jaa, said: “Tony is the perfect artist to lead this fast moving, adrenaline rush of a movie, where the physical demands match the traditional leading man visceral performance needs. He’ll be able to demonstrate his full, and extremely impressive, repertoire of skills to elevate this story, which will have inherent cross-border appeal globally.”
More at Deadline.