The highly anticipated Bollywood remake of Shankar's Anniyan, which features Ranveer Singh in the lead role has been making headlines lately with the copyright controversy. Aascar Ravichandran, the producer of Anniyan had lashed out at director Shankar for proceeding with the Bollywood remake without his permission.
However, the senior filmmaker has now reacted to the allegations of Aascar Ravichandran, with an open letter. In his letter, Shankar has denied the allegations of the producer, stating that the story and screenplay of the film belong exclusively to him.
Read Shankar's official statement here:
"I am shocked to receive your mail dated 14.04.2021 stating that you own the storyline of the movie Anniyan. In this context, I submit that the movie was released in the year 2005 and everyone associated with the movie were aware that the script and storyline belongs exclusively to me and in fact the movie was released with the tag: story, screenplay and direction by Shankar. I have not assigned in writing any script or screenplay to any person, and continue to retain the right to exploit the script in any manner I deem fit. As the admitted author of the literary work, my rights cannot be interfered with under any circumstances," said Shankar in the statement.
"I am rather surprised to see the reference of late Sri Sujatha, as he was engaged by me only to write dialogues for the film and was accordingly credited. He was not involved in the script, screenplay or characterisation in any manner, and there is no scope beyond his engagement as a dialogue writer," said the filmmaker regarding Sujatha's involvement in the project.
"Given that the script vests with me, I am absolutely entitled to exploit the same in any manner I deem fit. In fact, you/your entity does not have the right to remake or make any derivative rights for Anniyan, as the said rights have not been granted to you in writing. In the absence of any assignment in writing from me, there can be no basis whatsoever to even assert that the "storyline" vests with you," Shankar added.
"You as the producer have gained substantially from the success of the film Anniyan, and are needlessly trying to unjustly enrich yourself even in my future endeavours which have no correlation to you. Needless to state, I can only hope good sense will prevail upon you after this clarification and you will stop agitating such baseless claims. This reply is issued without prejudice, and to clarify the actual situation of me as a director and writer being subject to such avaricious and illegal claims to needlessly attempt to jeopardise my future projects." Shankar concluded the statement.