On Thursday last week Shamongkolfilm International, one of Thailand’s major film producers and distributors called on Thai courts to halt the film’s release, arguing that local star Tony Jaa had breached his talent management contract by appearing in the movie. It claimed damages of $49 million and obtained an injunction halting the film’s release in Thailand ahead of a June court hearing.
However, on Monday a Bangkok Civil Court threw out the injunction, arguing that other interested parties would be damaged by the film’s non-release.
The movie, the seventh in the “Fast & Furious” action franchise, opens in North America tomorrow (April 3).
Jaa was star of several movies produced or distributed by Sahamongkol – including “Ong Bak” and “Tom Yum Goong” (aka “The Protector” in North America – while under a long term contract with Sahamongkol as his exclusive talent agent.
Jaa and Sahamonglol have been in dispute for the past two years, with Jaa insisting that the contract had expired, and Sahamongkol insisting that it had been renewed. The contractual dispute became public in 2013 when Jaa refused to do publicity for Sahamongkol’s “Tom Yum Goong 2” in which he starred. The film flopped badly, taking less than $2 million on its Thai release.
Despite the rupture with Sahamongkol and the unsettled dispute, Jaa took a supporting role in Baumgarten Management and Productions’ and SC International’s “Skin Trade”; and “Sha Po Lang 2: A Man Will Rise,” a big-budget Hong Kong action picture also starring Sammo Hung, from Hong Kong’s Bravos Pictures and Sun Entertainment Culture.
“Skin Trade,” which is directed by Thailand’s Ekachai Uekrongtham and features Dolph Lundgren, is set for release in North America by Magnolia Pictures and Magnet Releasing.
“SPL 2” is set for release in Thailand later in April.