Thai action superstar Tatchakorn “Tony Jaa” Yeerum is in conflict with his boss in Thailand and must ask his permission to take part in the cast of Hollywood’s “Fast and Furious 7”.
Somsak “Sia Jiang” Techaratanaprasert, president of Sahamongkol Film International (Mongkol Film), a leading movie company in Thailand, together with renowned film directors and producers Panna Rittikrai and Prachya Pinkaew held a press conference on Tuesday to explain Tony Jaa’s situation.
Sia Jiang told reporters that he had previously given permission to Tony Jaa to appear in foreign films but the 37-year-old actor sent a notice to him saying he was no longer under contract with Mongkol Film.
“I admit that I am happy that Tony Jaa will appear in a foreign film, but he must get the foreign agency to contact me and get my consent first,” Sia Jiang said. “I’m not hoping to get a percentage of his pay but this must be done correctly and I’ll send a notice to the foreign agency.”
He said Tony Jaa, who has earned international fame with his stunt-filled and action packed series of Ong Bak movies, had just signed a 10-year contract with Mongkol Film.
“If Tony Jaa doesn’t receive my consent and still plays in the foreign film, he’ll definitely face a lawsuit,” he said.
Mr Prachya said the company backed Tony Jaa to go Hollywood and nobody has any problem with him. But the problem emerged when Tony Jaa breached his contract.
Mr Panna said he had tried to contact Tony Jaa but he had refused to answer his calls.
Meanwhile, Tony Jaa told reporters in another interview that Sia Jiang is a nice person and they have been working together as usual.
The actor said he has been working in an honest and transparent manner.
The script for “Fast and Furious 7” is still being written and Tony Jaa’s role has not been finalised, according to theHollywood Reporter.
“I have been a big fan of the Fast and Furious franchise,” Tony Jaa said.
“The films are fast-paced, fun and keep the audience involved. There is a great mix of humour and action, something I really appreciate.”
James Wan, who had a recent success with “The Conjuring”, is directing the new Fast and Furious movie, which will start shooting in September to meet a July 11, 2014, release date.
The Fast and Furious series has earned US$2.34 billion at the worldwide box office through Aug 1, making it Universal Studios’ biggest franchise of all time.