Tony Jaa Set For Fast & Furious 7

But will he be a hero or a villain?

Ong Bak

As it races towards a shoot now scheduled to start next month, the seventh instalment of the Fast And Furious franchise is adding another new face. Ong-Bak man Tony Jaa has signed on in an unspecified role.

With The Conjuring’s James Wan deep into pre-production and regular writer Chris Morgan busy coming up with even crazier ways to defy logic and physics with vehicles, everything is falling into place for the new movie.

Jaa’s role is still shrouded in mystery, especially since the screenplay is in such flux, but he’s joining fellow Fast newcomer Ronda Rousey in the movie that will – spoiler alert for anyone who didn’t see the end of the sixth film – feature Jason Statham as the big villain this time around.

"I have been a big fan of the Fast And Furious franchise," Jaa tells the Hollywood Reporter. "The films are fast-paced, fun and keep the audience involved. There is a great mix of humour and action, something I really appreciate. There is no better film to be involved in for a first US studio production."

With Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Tyrese Gibson and the rest of the gang (at least those who survived to the end of Furious 6) back on track, the film seems set to partly return the franchise to its LA roots with a tale of revenge against our heroes for killing off Luke Evans' Owen Shaw.

Wan and everyone involved will be racing to have Fast & Furious 7 in US cinemas for July 11, with the UK release set for July 25. Can it live up to the fun of five and top the craziness of six? Our fingers and clutch pedals are crossed.