Ever since Fast Five transmutated the franchise from drag racing movies to full on ensemble action blockbusters, the fun of a new Fast film is guessing which noteworthy action star they'll bring in to the fold next. This summer's Fast 6 welcomed former MMA fighter Gina Carano, and ended with an awesome post-credits scene that, without saying too much for those who haven't seen it yet, finally brought the narrative full circle—films four through six all take place before the third, Tokyo Drift—and set the great Jason Statham up to be the main heavy in Fast 7, due July 2014.

Now it's been announced that joining the Stath is none other than Thai action star Tony Jaa, of the popular Ong-Bak series. There's no word on whether he'll be down with Vin Diesel's Dom Toretto and co. or raising hell with Statham, but the casting seems less random when you factor in the movie's supposed Hong Kong setting. Fast 7 will serve as both Jaa's first major studio movie and his first English-speaking role. If you've seen Ong-Bak (and if you haven't, get familiar) then you know this means we should be in for some pretty spectacular fight scenes. Hopefully first-time action director James Wan is up to the task.

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[via THR]