Recasting the Star Wars saga: Tony Jaa as Darth Maul
Darth Maul is probably the most iconic character to emerge out of the prequel trilogy. Perhaps coincidentally, he also has very few lines. He is imposing. He is implacable. He is a terrifyingly good fighter, but he’s not much of a talker. The actor who plays him in a remake should have presence, combat skills, and be comfortable under a lot of makeup.
I’m not sure about the third qualification, but Thai actor and martial artist Tony Jaa has the first two well in hand. Jaa came to international attention with the Ong-Bak series of movies, in which he kicked a lot of ass, took a lot of names, and looked very intense while doing it. I offer this lengthy fight scene from the first Ong-Bak as proof that Jaa would look suitably intimidating in a fight with a couple of Jedi masters.
True, Jaa is older than Ray Park was when he played Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace, but if Jackie Chan could film ridiculous fight scenes into his 40s, Jaa should be fine in his 30s. Iko Uwais, the Indonesian actor who pulled off some impressive fight choreography on his way up the action movie ladder, could make a good, younger alternative.
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