Tamil Nadu

Kamal wanted Indian 2 to be released before 2019 LS election, says Shankar

Film director S. Shankar has told the Madras High Court that the shooting for Indian-2 was to commence in 2017 and that actor-politician Kamal Haasan had requested him to get the movie released before the 2019 parliamentary election. The project got delayed and could not be completed till date only because of Lyca Productions which desired to produce the movie instead of V. Venkata Ramana Reddy alias Dil Raju, he claimed.

In a counter affidavit filed in response to a civil suit preferred against him by Lyca Productions, the director said that he had first pitched the script of Indian-2 to Lyca Productions but the company did not evince interest in the project stating that it would not be commercially viable. However, Mr. Raju readily accepted to produce the movie and so it was announced during the final episode of television show Bigg Boss-1 on September 30, 2017.

At the time of the announcement, Mr. Shankar was making Rajinikanth starrer Robot 2.0 for Lyca Productions but 95% of the work for that movie had been completed. Therefore, it was decided to commence shooting Indian-2 from December 2017. However, Lyca Productions suddenly showed interest in producing Indian-2 also, the director said and added that he had to convince Mr. Raju to part with the film after promising to make some other movie with him.

After a change in the production house, the director began pre-production work and went on a hunt searching for foreign locations and technicians and decided to commence shooting from May 2018. However, Lyca Productions insisted that the shooting could commence only after the release of Robot 2.0, he claimed. Finally, the sets for the movie were made ready in November 2018 and the shooting was planned in December 2018 but suddenly Mr. Kamal Haasan suffered “make up allergy.”

The shooting had to be postponed and it was only then the production house insisted on a concrete budget with break up. The director’s team submitted a rough budget for ₹270 crore and even reduced it to ₹250 crore at the request of the producers. When the director had planned to shoot between January and May 2019 in various countries, Lyca suddenly insisted on shooting small budget schedules first since it was running short of funds.

This sudden request affected the entire pre-planned schedule, the director said. “Finally, after much efforts and overcoming the callous and unprofessional attitude of the applicant (producers), the shooting began on January 18, 2019. After the shoot began, it was stopped after four days because the sets were not delivered on time and therefore there was another delay of one month, he added.

Claiming that Lyca Productions insisted upon him to sign an agreement, with “impractical and draconian” conditions, only after all this, Mr. Shankar said: “Given the faith reposed in me by hundreds of cast and crew in the film, I, nonetheless, signed the same hoping that the applicant would at least adhere to the obligations provided for therein.” He lamented that the production house continued to delay the shoot for one reason or the other.

He also brought it to the notice of the court that three precious years of his career had been spent on making this incomplete movie and the delay had led to many actors including Mr. Haasan deciding to start acting in other movies. However, the production house had chosen to move the court to prevent him alone from directing another movie with Telugu actor Ram Charan in the lead role and it shows the mala fide intent, he claimed.

Asserting that Indian-2 was very dear to his heart and that he had no intent to abandon the movie, the director said he was ready to complete the movie if the production house settles the dues to all actors and technicians and provides unstinted cooperation in completing the project. He said the production house could not blame him for the February 2020 shooting spot crane accident in which two crew members died.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2021 4:00:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/kamal-wanted-indian-2-to-be-released-before-2019-ls-election-says-shankar/article34538383.ece

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