Senior Editor
07.28.08 40 Comments

Tony Jaa is the best thing to happen to martial arts movies since Bruce Lee (video evidence after the jump), and he’s currently at work on Ong-Bak 2, his directorial debut. Only problem is, no one’s seen him since June.

On Friday, Sahamongkol prexy Somsak Techaratanaprasert [holy god, how many syllables is that?] held a press conference to confirm that Tony Jaa has been missing since June.  "But I love him as a son," said Techaratanaprasert as the studio insists the much-anticipated Thai film "Ong-bak 2" will be finished in time for its scheduled Dec. 5 release in Thailand.

His family said Jaa has suffered a lot of stress from the shoot and has gone to meditate in the jungle. Reports in the Thai press suggest a case of budget mismanagement that resulted in Jaa spending over 200 million baht ($6.25 million) without finishing the film. "I guarantee that this is not a case of financial fraud, and I have no intention of pursuing any legal action against him," Techaratanaprasert said. "We’re running behind schedule, and some of our international contracts have been cancelled because of that. I know he loves this film very much, so I just want him to finish the film because there’s only a little work left."

Prachya Pinkaew, who directed the first "Ong-bak" and "Tom-yum-goong" (shown as "The Protector" in the U.S.), confirmed that he will step in to edit the footage and maybe direct the rest of the movie.  "Jaa has little experience directing," said Pinkaew. "He’s spent nearly $7.8 million. The film is almost finished, so I’ll try to see what I can do with the footage that he’s shot."

Meditating in the jungle?  How badass is that?  Anyway, I think the solution here is obvious.  Tony Jaa has sworn off fighting and gone into hiding.  If movies have taught me anything, all we need to do is kidnap a family member, or his prized elephant and he’ll be back beating the shit out of people in no time. 

Best unedited fight scene ever:

And this is completely unrelated, but fun nonetheless:

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