Wesley Snipes

AP Photo/Phil Sandlin

Before his world shrinks to an 8-by-10 cell, Wesley Snipes would like to cross a few oceans.

The embattled actor has filed a request in federal court for permission to leave the country, first to London to sit in on the editing process for his new horror flick Gallowwalker, and then to Bangkok to film the action thriller Chasing the Dragon. Cameras are set to roll Sept. 8 and production is expected to last eight weeks.

According to the filing, Snipes' unavailability could jeopardize his "future livelihood as an actor," not to mention his ability to pay restitution for his crimes.

Snipes skated on charges of conspiracy and fraud but was convicted in February on three misdemeanor counts of failing to file tax returns on about $13.5 million in earnings. He was sentenced in April to three years in prison, but a Florida judge begrudgingly agreed last month to bail that will keep the Blade star a free man until his appeal has played out.

"Mr. Snipes will, of course, voluntarily return after his work on this film—as he has done each time he has been granted permission by this court," defense attorney Daniel Meachum wrote in Wednesday's filing, which was obtained by the Orlando Sentinel.

His bold request shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, really. Before he stood trial, a judge gave Snipes the go-ahead to travel to Namibia (not for the birth of Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, but to finish shooting Gallowwalker), South Korea and Vancouver.

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