Asian martial arts star Tony Jaa will be making his English-language film debut in next summer’s Fast & Furious 7. Jaa broke the news to the Hollywood Reporter in an email –
I have been a big fan of the Fast and Furious franchise. 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.
He certainly sounds enthused and his involvement in the franchise excites me. As anyone who has seen Jaa’s impressive output, they know that this guy is an intense force of nature. As screenwriter Chris Morgan is still working on the sequel’s script, there is no real word as to what part Jaa will be playing but hopefully it will involve him squaring off against Jason Statham, who has been cast as the upcoming installment’s villain.
For those not familiar with Jaa’s work, I would recommend tracking down his Ong Bok films or The Protector. They all showcase a martial artist whose speed and precision come close to rivaling that of Bruce Lee’s. Let this one clip from 2005’s The Protector be a sampler for you. Not only is this single-shot fight sequence some bravura filmmaking on the part of director Prachya Pinkaew, but it encapsulates what many people have found so exciting about Jaa’s film work.
Fast And Furious 7 is set for a July 11, 2014 and will also star Vin Diesel and Paul Walker and James Wan directing.