Jaa, the Thai action star best known for his Ong Bak movies, is joining the already star-studded cast of Fast and Furious 7, Universals latest installment of the hit franchise series.
The Hollywood Reporter announced that the Fast 7 already has Jason Statham as the villain, one of several new additions to a series that stars Vin Diesel and Paul Walker.
The script is still being being written by longtime franchise player Chris Morgan, so details are vague and Jaa’s role in the international feature film is not certain.
Jaa is a stuntman-turned-actor who spent his youth as an elephant herder. He watched martial arts movies and decided to follow in the footsteps of heroes Jackie Chan and Jet Li. He made three Ong Bak films, which were global hits, and is considered a symbol of national pride in his home country.
Fast 7 will be his English-language debut as well as his first US Feature film picture.
“I have been a big fan of the Fast and Furious franchise,” said Jaa via e-mail from 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.”
James Wan (The Conjuring), is directing the movie, which will start shooting in September on an fast schedule to meet a July 11, 2014, release date.