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Days Before Simbu’s ‘Eeswaran’ Release, Tamil Film Producers Council Boycotts Future Collaborations With the Actor

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Source: Silverscreen Media Library

Two days before the release of actor Silambarasan TR‘s (popularly known as Simbu) Tamil film Eeswaran, the Tamil Film Producers Council (TFPC) on Wednesday announced that they will no longer collaborate with films starring Simbu from January 13, 2021.

A war of words soon erupted between producer Michael Rayappan and Simbu’s father T Rajendran, and the latter accused the producer of “creating unwanted chaos to stop the release” of Eeswaran. 

The disagreement dates back to 2017, following the release and the box office failure of Adhik Ravichandran’s directorial Anbanavan Asaradhavan Adangadhavan (AAA) starring Simbu, which was produced by Rayappan. Addressing a press conference later that year, Rayappan and Adhik had accused Simbu for failing to abide by the film’s shooting schedule and blamed him for the losses incurred due to the film’s failure. According to them, Simbu insisted on releasing the film in two parts. Rayappan had then urged the intervention of the TFPC into the matter.

Vishal Krishna, the then TFPC president, had said that a letter was sent to the Nadigar Sangam (a union for film, television, and stage actors in Tamil Nadu) based on Rayappan’s complaint. However, after Simbu denied receiving any letter from the TFPC, the makers of AAA had asked the Council to send him a copy of the letter addressed to the Sangam.

Denying all accusations, Simbu had filed a defamation case against Rayappan and Vishal in February 2019. Later that year, the Madras High Court ordered the removal of Vishal’s name in the case. Simbu had also filed a complaint against Rayappan with the Nadigar Sangam, alleging that the producer owed him money.

On December 9, 2020, Simbu sent a notice to the TFPC, stating that the Madras High Court had directed Rayappan, the TFPC and others to “file a written statement in a suit and counter in the interim applications by January 11, 2021”.

Addressing the media on Wednesday, Rayappan said: “With the actor being non-cooperative during the project [AAA], the film was released with the available footage. It was done purely out of the trust as Silambarasan assured me that he would work with me on another project to compensate for the loss.”

“I approached the TFPC during that time, which was headed by actor-producer Vishal. The council deeply investigated the issues on both sides. Usha Rajendran, mother of Silambarasan signed an agreement to repay the loss of Rs 7.2 crore in three-film instalment, where a part of the actor’s remuneration Rs 2.4 crore will be paid back with three films releasing after Anbanavan Asaradhavan Adangadhavan,” Rayappan said.

According to Rayappan, although Simbu had assured him of working on another project to compensate for the loss, the actor had later claimed that the other projects were signed on different terms. Based on this understanding, Rayappan requested the TFPC to look into the issue, following which a reminder was sent to Simbu’s father.

Expressing shock at Rajendran’s accusations of Rayappan using political influence to stall the release of Eeswaran, Rayappan said he had only sought compensation for the losses incurred by the distributors of AAA, not for himself. 

This is not the first time that Simbu has been entangled in a controversy with a producer.

In August 2019, in a similar accusation, Simbu was dropped from Maanadu by producer Suresh Kamatchi, as he failed to aide by the shooting schedule. In 2018, Passion Movie Makers served a notice to the actor for not turning up for the shooting of a film titled Arasan, and refusing to return his advance money.

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