Sahamongkol Threatens Tony Jaa With Lawsuit Over FAST AND FURIOUS Role

Todd Brown, Founder and Editor
Sometimes the side show just never seems to end ...

Thai action star Tony Jaa is, once again, in the center of a controversy with his Ong Bak and Tom Yum Goong producers at Sahamongkol film, this time thanks to his announced casting in the upcoming Fast And Furious 7. Jaa had recently signed a ten year contract with the studio - his second such contract - and earlier this week studio head Sia Jang, Ong Bak director Prachya Pinkaew and choreographer Panna Rittikrai called a joint press conference in which they told Thai press that Jaa had breached his contract by accepting the part without their permission and that if he failed to secure said permission - they never specified what would be required to do so - they intended to file a lawsuit against him.

Will this keep Jaa from making his much anticipated Hollywood debut? Well, Sahamongkol have refused multiple offers for the star in the past - as well as other inquiries for Jeeja Yanin and Dan Chupong, preferring to keep their roster close to home - but ultimately the outcome will likely come down to just how badly Universal wants the star in the movie as it seems reasonable to assume that any permission will come at a price to them.
Around the Internet:
  • Dhitima Nakarin

    Tony Jaa has never signed the second contract. The first contract, which was signed about 10 years ago, calls a slavery contract (Thai word). It is a long-term and unfair agreement. The first contract said his agency company has the right to send second contract to Tony Jaa about a month before the first contract was over. If Tony Jaa would not reply them before the first contract was over , the second contract would be automatically used as a legal agreement between them.

    Although, the lawyer of the agency company knew that Tony Jaa has lived in Bangkok with his wife and his child since a few year ago, he sent the second contract to Tony Jaa's parents' house in Surin province, and his sister unknowingly sighed to receive it while Tony Jaa's lawyer sent a formal letter to cancel the second contract from Bangkok

    Long time ago, many Thai people who were in trouble about slavery contract, they never brought this case to the court because they believed that they would loose. Now, Thai people have learnt more about their right and count on the court to free them from slavery contract.
    Read more as the following (It is Thai, you can use google to translate to English)

    http://www.manager.co.th/Enter...
    NewsID=9560000115179

    http://www.manager.co.th/Enter...

    http://www.manager.co.th/Enter...

    http://www.manager.co.th/Enter...

  • John Magee

    Sign this petition and show Sahamongkol Film how you feel.

    http://www.change.org/en-AU/pe...

  • Mike Selby

    As Tony Jaa's manager I am posting this in his behalf. Tony has always had the greatest respect for Sahamongkol and the people behind Sahamongkol. He is therefore saddened and disappointed to see their recent press statements. The article that Twitch has quoted appeared in the Bangkok Post and was based solely on Sahamongkol's public comments. Sahamongkol's public assertions regarding Tony and his purported contract with them are not factual. Tony Jaa does not have a new contract with Sahamongkol nor did he extend his prior relationship with them. The matter was studied quite carefully and Tony Jaa is free to pursue any acting jobs which he wishes to undertake. Sahamongkol may make a complaint in a competent legal forum with proper jurisdiction if they feel they have such a claim. Assuming that such a claim would be heard; We would be more than pleased to follow the ruling of any competent legal authority. It should be noted that Thailand abolished slavery many years ago, and Thai courts consider provable damages in labor contract disputes, and nothing more than that. Tony is looking forward to his role in Fast and Furious 7 as well as a number of other films. He does not require permission from anyone to act in these films, except possibly his wife and daughter.
    Michael Selby

  • yakumpakenappeh

    What's with that Tony Jaa demo august 2013, which obviously isn't him?
    Are you trying to ruin his career?

  • No, that job belongs to the people threatening lawsuits over non existent contracts.

  • yakumpakenappeh

    I know nothing of that, and I wouldn't take sides on it. Why would you? You just wrote the article on what was going on.

    Something that is coming out is you have some vested interest in Michael selby over Sahamongkol

  • I have a vested interest in saying what is actually happening. The threatened lawsuit is undeniable. It happened. At a press conference. On both film and tape. Which is publicly available.

  • yakumpakenappeh

    I was obviously referring to the "people threatening lawsuits over non existent contracts" All the american news and spin on this has been coming from you through twitch. You already had gotten it going with; [Tony Jaa And Prachya Pinkaew Reunite For TOM YUM GOONG 2 ]

  • As answered above: Sahamongkol threatened, in public, to sue Tony over a contract which did not actually exist. Tony Jaa has never, ever signed anything extending his contract with Sahamongkol. Ever. The contract they tried to claim he is breaching does not now and never did exist. This is not 'vested interest', this is fact.

  • John Magee

    Well said. Tony Jaa is long overdue in making his first venture into foreign films. He is the one who risks his physical health to entertain his many fans. He deserves a chance to shine on the international stage. I hope he makes and enormous amount of money and can set up his own studio. Corporate hacks have no business telling him how and when he can make a living.

  • John Magee

    I started this a few minutes ago. Just a little petition on change.org.

    http://www.change.org/en-AU/pe...

    Is there anyway to get an image of Tony that can be used in the petition. I don't want to use copyrighted images and get the petition closed down.

  • Mike Selby

    Hi John, There is nothing that prevents Tony from pursuing his career despite the innuendo to the contrary. There are a number of photos of Tony at https://www.facebook.com/tonyj... which are allowed for non commercial reprint.
    Regards
    Mike

  • Marcel Samson

    You just stated, as his manager, that Jaa is under no contract with said studio. So there's no reason for John to start that petition, because if you are telling the truth, that petition in itself is spreading false information. No need to encourage the guy doing that ;)

  • John Magee

    Thanks for the heads up. It's nice to see Mr. Jaa is so active with his communication to fans. I'm a relatively new fan of his movies. Somebody call Stallone, he forgot a guy!

  • ricksomchai

    Don't worry no reason for that friend, he already has that freedom Its a publicity stunt on Sahamongkol's behalf, here is another petition to help boost TYG2 tho http://www.change.org/en-AU/pe...

  • ricksomchai

    Thanks for clearing it all up for us Mike.

  • That One Guy

    "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."
    So... fix-rate?

  • pequeno91

    Does anyone know the role Jaa's supposed to play in this?I mean who's side is he supposed to be on? Vin's team or Statham's team?

  • Mike

    I have no idea but I'm assuming he'll be the Sinister Asian Guy for this one.

  • pequeno91

    I cant understand why Jaa, Yanin and Dan would sign these contracts with said studio, that prohibits them from getting work in another market. I'd never sign such a contract ever!

  • Kujo2020

    I would rather not see him make his Hollywood debut in yet another Fast and Furious film, but I'm sure this would be his biggest pay day, so I can't blame him.

  • Mike

    Wait, he signed another ten year contract after he finally got out of the first one?

  • DJ_BobbyPeru

    On one hand, its messed up how a studio seems to own him and the other actors like its the forties, limiting his opportunities to expand his exposure to a global audience. On the other hand, he did sign a contract and it could be all there the fine print.

  • judge dredds dirty undies

    I'm guessing actors dont have a union in Thailand.

  • Sunwukong88

    Jaa really has some bad luck over the pass few years. It seems like at this rate, we will only remember him in Ong Bak 1 being his most famous film.

  • Marcel Samson

    Bad luck? It seems he's just terribly bad at making good decisions. Why would he again sign a 10 year contract, after all the trouble the first one got him?

  • Qinlong

    I can't imagine Jaa blossoming in Hollywood anyway...

  • GetFiquette

    new it was to good to be true. anyways, sure it wouldn't have been much of a roll.

  • I love how they repeat how happy they are for him to have the role while simultaneously threatening to sue ...

  • ricksomchai

    Got to love the drama Jaa himself said not to even worry or trust what you hear and read Thai news is blowing this way out of proportion just to have something to write about. He will still be in the film, they gossip so much about this guy and it will continue in the future. everyone thinks he ran off to some jungle from a movie set and thats not even what happened.

  • Well, of course Tony's goi g to say that, he wants to do the movie. And I'm honestly certain he will, provided Universal wants him enough to give Sahamongkol what they want.

    But what absolutely BLOWS ME AWAY here is that Sahamongkol is in the middle of their PR campaign to launch TYG2 and instead of using this as free advertising - Our star just joined the most successful action franchise in history! - they've instead created a situation where the conversation is purely negative. And they've done it entirely to themselves. I cannot imagine a single scenario where calling a press conference to say y

  • ricksomchai

    They should not even be posting such news when I was last there in BKK all the news was about him and his family, He was set to join a Muay Thai ceremony with his father, then could not go due to shooting A Man Will Rise so the news and media blasted him out of the water, when shooting a film you cant just walk off set to do what family ask, your under contract. The media put his mom and dad all on the news I just think there is better ways to get media attention ....

  • Ou're suing your star is a good idea.

  • Dave Baxter

    From the article, though, the whole thing comes down to Sahamongkol believing that Jaa did sign a new contract and Jaa believing that he's no longer under any kind of contract. They (supposedly) don't even care what the terms are, per se, but what they need to make a public stand about is whether Jaa is or is not beholden to them in some way shape or form. Obviously Jaa has been telling Universal that he's not under contract and Sahamongkol doesn't need to be involved.

    So I think this is a battle that has to happen, from the production group's perspective. If they let this one go for "free press", they basically forfeit the right to reign Tony in later. And the question of whether there is or is not a contract is a pretty crucial one. One side saying the contract does not even exist is not something that can be chalked up to fine print nit-pickyness and lawyer-speak.

  • And fighting a legal battle via the press helps how, exactly? You call your lawyer, you cal his lawyer, you put them in a room and work it out. You don't call the papers.

  • Dave Baxter

    If I had to guess, I'd say they're trying to pressure Universal to push Jaa to work it out. And/or pressure Universal to talk to them. Likely neither Jaa or Universal are returning their calls, which makes it hard to progress on working anything out until they do, lawyers or not.

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