Filmmaker Shankar, filed a counter affidavit at the Madras High Court on Tuesday blaming Lyca Productions, the producers of his upcoming Tamil film Indian 2 starring Kamal Haasan, for delaying film’s production for over three years, The Hindu reported.
The film has been embroiled in a legal trouble after the production house moved court in April seeking an interim injunction on Shankar from directing any other film before completing Indian 2. This came at a time when Shankar was set to direct a Telugu film, starring Ram Charan, which was announced in February. Refusing to grant an injunction, the court had said the issue should be resolved amicably with both the parties holding talks. However, the talks proved to be futile.
In his affidavit, Shankar said that the film’s shooting was supposed to start in 2017 and Haasan had requested to release the film before the 2019 General Assembly elections. Shankar claimed that the film was delayed since Lyca Productions wanted to produce the project instead of producer Dil Raju. As per the report, Shankar said that after Lyca Productions did not show interest in his pitch for Indian 2, Raju agreed to produce the film, which is a sequel of Indian. Subsequently, the sequel was announced on the finale of the television reality show Bigg Boss by host Haasan in September 2017.
Shankar, who was then working on Robot 2.0 starring Rajinikanth for Lyca Productions, decided to work on Indian 2 from December 2017. The filmmaker claimed that Lyca Productions then expressed interest in Indian 2 and he had to convince Raju to exit the project.
Shankar stated that he began the film’s pre-production and decided to start shooting from May 2018 but Lyca Productions wanted to start only after Robot 2.0 had released. He said that after Robot 2.0 released in November 2018, the shooting was supposed to start in December that year but was halted after Haasan developed a “make-up allergy”.
According to Shankar, after the shooting was postponed, Lyca Productions had demanded a budget for the film. While he had submitted a budget of Rs 270 crore, which was later reduced to Rs 250 crore, he said that he was asked to shoot the small budget schedules first since the producers were short of money. This “sudden request” affected his plan and after “overcoming callous and unprofessional attitude of the applicant [producers]”, shooting resumed on January 18, 2019, Shankar said. However, shooting was halted after four days and was further delayed by a month since the sets were not developed on time.
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Shankar said that Lyca Productions caused the delay in the shoot. Pointing out that while the film’s actors had began working on other films, the production house moved court to prevent only the filmmaker from working on other projects. He added he was ready to finish Indian 2 if Lyca Productions settled all dues and cooperated with the cast and crew.
The matter will next be heard on June 16.
Indian 2 will feature Haasan reprising his role as Senapathy. Other cast members include Nedumudi Venu, Kajal Aggarwal, Siddharth, Rakul Preet Singh, Bobby Simha, Priya Bhavani Shankar, and Samuthirakani. Indian 2’s music will be composed by Anirudh Ravichander.