'Ong Bak' Director Takes on 'Tekken: Rise of the Tournament'

'Ong Bak' Director Takes on 'Tekken: Rise of the Tournament'

May 21, 2012

What do you do if you produce a live-action video game of a very popular (at one time, at least) video game, but it goes straight to video in the United States and the director of the actual game series disowns it? Keep making more, obviously. That's the case with Tekken, though in the interest of optimism, the second try is more promising the first.

Now, if you're going, "Wait, there was a first live-action Tekken movie?" A quick recap. 2010's Tekken was directed by Dwight H. Little (who mainly does TV work, though he did direct Murder at 1600) and featured Jon Foo, Kelly Overton (both pictured above as Jin and Christie, respectively), Cary-Hiroykui Tagawa, Cung Lee, Luke Goss, and Mircea Monroe as a handful of fighters in a dsytopian future who fight in the King of Iron First Tournament run by the Tekken corporation. As you can guess, it's not that great of a movie, but if you have a softspot for lame video game movies (I do, otherwise I wouldn't even be writing this), it's not dreadful, either. It's at least better than D.O.A., if that counts for anything.

Forget about that already forgettable movie, though, because none of the people involved with it are likely to be involved with this new film, a prequel titled Tekken: Rise of the Tournament. The only tie to the first live-action film (aside from the characters, obviously) is the production company Crystal Sky. And if that alone has you worried*, at least this time aroudn they're hiring Prachya Pinkaew (the director of Ong Bak and The Protector, among several other badass Thai martial arts movies) to direct the film, which the Hollywood Reporter shares "will not have stars but will have actors who look like the characters in the video games."

That last line concerns us a bit - who cares if they look the part so long as they have the talent to back it up - but we're hoping that just means Pinkaew will be able to draft his actors and stunt people from the various fighting pools around the world as opposed to taking pretty, Hollywood-friendly faces. If that ends up happening, Tekken: Rise of the Tournament may be a pleasant surprise for fans of both the game series and martial arts movies.

*And you might want to be worried: Crystal Sky are also currently in post-production on 3 Baby Geniuses sequels and a TV show; their bar for quality entertainment isn't that encouraging. But then again, I don't know how much these three new Baby Geniuses movies stick to canon, so I could be talking out of my ass here.

Categories: In Development, News
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