If you live in Thailand and want to see [Furious 7](movie:264263), no worries... the dispute is over... or at least partially. You'll be able to see cars flying out of buildings into other buildings, parachuting cars with people inside of them, and the rest of the ridiculous awesomeness from the seventh installation of the franchise.
A Thai judge officially threw out an injunction imposed against the movie last week after a hearing that involved Universal Pictures and Thai martial artist Tony Jaa, who appears in the film.
There was this quote from Jaa:
“Proud. Proud is how I feel,” Jaa told The Hollywood Reporter on Monday after arriving in Los Angeles for the movie’s Wednesday premiere. “Thai audiences are big fans of Fast and the Furious, and I’m a big fan, too.”
It seems fairly obvious in retrospect that Universal would not have let this movie stay banned in such an important market, but there was definitely a scare there for a second.
So, essentially, a film company local to Thailand called Sahamongkolfilm International claims it has a multi-decade contract with Tony Jaa, which it is attempting to enforce and is seeking $49 million in damages. Separately, it sought to stop the release of the film in the country. But while the case will continue, the injunction will not. Jaa definitely dodged that one!
Tony Jaa's camp claims it was an illegal contract. And this is where it gets weird... Jaa was to be paid $1,600 a MONTH from this company with bonuses to be figured out later. Jaa signed this deal at a young age when this deal may have appeared to have been decent. Obviously, with the Fast and Furious franchise, he'd be making a substantial amount more than that.
“Tony has no contract,” said Jaa's manager Mike Selby. “This was done for money and to embarrass Tony.”
Sounds like some sketchy business practices here, and it looks like Jaa may have fallen victim to one of the oldest tricks in the book - doing whatever he can to make it. He literally almost signed his life away... or at least ten years of it, which is how long the "contract" was supposed to last.
20,000 people joined a Facebook group urging the court to uplift the ban of the movie in Thailand. Those people can now rest easy, as the film will come out today, April 1st. It comes out April 3rd in North America.
It's safe to say Jaa is glad that that got resolved pretty FAST... and I'm sure he's no longer FURIOUS. Heh...
(Via: The Hollywood Reporter)