Tony Jaa returned to Thailand earlier this month to prepare his next upcoming martial arts thriller, “Skin Trade”. Jaa began prepping the film after his Hollywood debut “Fast and Furious 7” was put on indefinite hold following the tragic death of Paul Walker in November. The film will mark Jaa’s second collaboration with Dolph Lundgren, and will also bring Ron Perlman, and Michael Jai White into the mix! Furthermore, Celina Jade, daughter of one of Hwang Jang-lee’s closest Tae Kwon Do students Roy Horan and currently known for the role of Shado on the show “Arrow”, will join the film, as well. Plot details are scarce at the moment, but the film’s IMDB page currently contains the following synposis:
After his family is killed by a corrupt Serbian crime boss, NYC detective Nick goes to Bangkok and teams up with a Thai detective to get revenge and to expose the mafia’s human trafficking ring.
With Jaa, White, and Lundgren along with the endlessly amusing Ron Perlman among it’s leads, “Skin Trade” is increasingly resembling a Thai equivalent of “The Expendables”. Indeed, one of the most endearing aspects of that series is the David and Goliath-esque sibling rivalry between Lundgren and Jet Li – whether it’s comic relief or serious action you’re looking for, pairing a behemoth like the former Ivan Drago up with an immensely formidable fighting machine half his size never seems to get old. Certainly anyone whose seen Jade in action on “Arrow” can attest to her credentials as an action heroine, and White is likely one of the few figures in the martial arts world who can stand side by side with Lundgren and NOT look like dwarf! From the look of things “Skin Trade” certainly belongs on the radar of martial arts fans!
Additionally, following his untimely demise, Paul Walker, who was an avid Brazilian Jiu-jitsu practitioner holding the rank of brown belt, was subsequently promoted to honorary black belt by his teacher, Ricardo “Franjiha” Miller of the Paragon Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and Kickboxing Academy. Miller spoke of Walker’s desire to become an “ambassador for Jiu-jitsu” through his appearances in action films, and it seems that although posthumously, Walker may well achieve his dream. Action fans will have the opportunity to see Walker on the silver screen twice more- once with the release of “Fast and Furious 7”, originally intended to release on July 11, 2014, but now rescheduled for April 10, 2015 as a result of his death. Walker will also be seen in the upcoming “Brick Mansions”, a Hollywood remake of the popular martial arts and parkour urban thriller “District B13”, which will also feature one of the original film’s leading men, parkour founder David Belle. Walker is said to display his Jiu-jitsu skills in both with assistance from Miller. Hopefully, both “Fast and Furious 7” and “Brick Mansions” will give the world a chance to see Walker’s passion and enthusiasm for Jiu-jitsu as audiences bid him a final farewell.