‘Boxer’ puts trio in corner

Uekrongtham to helm tale of transvestite kickboxer

BANGKOK — First-time actor Asanee Suwon, wrestling champ Kyoko Inoue and former Miss Thailand-turned-thesp Orn-a-nong Panyawong have come on board the biopic “Beautiful Boxer.”

Suwon, 22, will play real-life transvestite kickboxer Parinya Charoenphol (aka Nong Toom). Suwon is a former kickboxer from Toom’s home town. Panyawong will play Toom’s mother, while Inoue will appear as herself.

Ekachai Uekrongtham, a stage director and the topper of Singapore’s Action Theater, will direct the film. GMM Pictures, the film arm of local multimedia giant GMM Grammy, is producing.

Toom’s skills brought fans and fame before he underwent a sex-change operation in 1998 and became a female nightclub entertainer.

“Boxer,” first unveiled at the Pusan Promotion Plan in South Korea in December 2001, attracted the attention of Anant Singh’s Distant Horizon, which offered co-financing for the project.

The film, which will contain Thai, English and Japanese dialogue, is budgeted at less than $2 million and is slated to be released Dec. 5, the birthday of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej.