Thai court lifts ban on 'Fast & Furious'

GMT 05:56 2015 Tuesday ,31 March

Arab Today, arab today Thai court lifts ban on 'Fast & Furious'

(L-R) Actors Vin Diesel and Paul Walker
Bangkok - AFP

A Thai court Monday lifted a ban on the latest instalment in "The Fast and the Furious" blockbuster franchise, a lawyer said, following a contract dispute with a local actor.
"Fast and Furious 7", due to open in Thai cinemas on April 1, was blocked by a court injunction Thursday after a Thai movie studio filed a lawsuit alleging that local film star Tony Jaa was in breach of contract for appearing in the film.
But it will now open in cinemas as scheduled on Wednesday, Suwat Apaipakdi, a lawyer for the studio Sahamongkol Film International, told AFP.
The Civil Court of Thailand in Bangkok ruled that "the temporary banning order would affect other actors -- therefore the court has cancelled the temporary banning", he said.
Suwat added that his client is still seeking 1.6 billion baht ($49 million) damages from Jaa, film studio Universal Pictures and local distributor United International Pictures (UIP) because the actor was committed to Sahamongkol in an exclusive contract until 2023.
It was not immediately possible to reach the court or UIP for comment.
Thai fans of the popular films had reacted furiously to news of the ban last week, with thousands joining a Facebook page calling for the court to lift the injunction.
Jaa rose from a poor background in Thailand's impoverished northeast to become one of the country's best-known "Muay Thai" martial artists.
He plays a villain in the latest "Fast and Furious" title and has a scene fighting longterm franchise star Paul Walker.
Walker was killed in November 2013, having completed much of his part in filming the seventh instalment, when a car he was riding in with another man crashed and burst into flames.
The first "Fast and Furious" movie appeared in 2001. The series, with its focus on fast cars, tough guys, sexy starlets and exotic locales, is one of Hollywood's most successful global franchises.

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