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Dev Anand furious

Friday, March 17, 2006

New Delhi (UNI): Anger is a feeling one does not normally associated with veteran actor-filmmaker Dev Anand, known for his non chalance and his "happy-go-lucky" attitude. However, reports of the Pritish Nandy Communication's plans to remake his 60s classic 'Guide' have even the otherwise jovial 'Devsaab', as he is fondly known in the film industry, and his legion of fans, fuming.

Following media reports of remaking of 'Guide' with actor Akshay Kumar and newcomer Vidya balan in the main roles and Rituparno Ghosh as director, the veteran actor-filmmaker has shot off an angry missive to the PNC threatening them with legal consequences if they went ahead with the remake. ''Recent press reports that you are planning to remake 'Guide', produced by me in 1965, as 'Rahgir'/'Rehguzar' featuring Akshay Kumar and Vidya Balan in the main lead and to be directed by Rituparno Ghosh, have disturbed me no end, ''the octogenarian filmmaker said in his letter to the PNC.

Asserting that the sole and exclusive copyright of 'Guide', including the filming rights of the original novel 'The Guide' by R K Narayan, vested solely with his company, Navketan International Films, Dev Anand said, ''if any one has the right to remake 'Guide', it is only my production company. Even my company has taken a conscious decision not to remake 'Guide' as I sincerely believe, at the risk of sounding immodest, that "classics" cannot be remade.'' In this context, he pointed out that the director Rituparno Ghosh had, in an earlier meeting with him, expressed his desire to remake the 60s classic. ''I had categorically opposed and objected to the idea,'' Dev Anand said.

Alleging that the PNC, despite its recent denials that 'Rahgir' was a remake of 'Guide', had been taking advantage of the reputation of his film 'Guide' ''to seek a strong commercial and aesthetic platform to promote your own film,'' the filmmaker urged the PNC from mentioning his name or of his film 'Guide' in any of the press stories. ''Please be informed that I reserve the rights to claim appropriate damages from you for dragging the name of my film 'Guide' in your press stories, for your commercial gains,'' the letter said.

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