Further to the financial issues that had plagued the release of 96, TFPC President Vishal, in a press release sent on Thursday, said that he has decided to relieve actor Vijay Sethupathi of paying the debt of Rs 1.5 crore that is owed to him by producer Nandhagopal.
Early on Friday, several morning shows of the C Prem Kumar-directed 96 were cancelled. It was said that actor Vishal, to whom producer Nandhagopal owes money, had held back the release. Actor Vijay Sethupathi, one of the leads of 96, had then stepped forward to clear the dues, following which the film hit theatres.
Vishal had earlier provided financial assistance to Nandhagopal, and when the latter couldn’t repay the loan, the matter had come up in the Tamil Film Producers’ Council for mediation. In the press statement, Vishal is quoted as saying that he would relieve Vijay Sethupathi of the burden of repaying Nandhagopal’s loan and that he’d pay the interest for the money borrowed till Nandhagopal is able to pay back the principal amount.
The issue had come to light when morning shows of 96 were cancelled at several theatres on Friday as the KDM hadn’t been delivered. A Whatsapp voice message from producer J Sathish Kumar had then laid the issue bare. In the audio clip, JSK said that Vishal locked the release of 96 over some dues owed by Nandhagopal. “Late night yesterday, Nandhagopal and other producers were involved in a long mediation and they tried to resolve the problem. Nandhagopal owes Vishal money, and the latter held the release of 96 over this.” Condemning Vishal, JSK went on to say that a person heading an organisation that looks after the welfare of the producers must not indulge in such actions. “As the head of TFPC, he must ideally work towards the welfare of producers and not strangle hold them over trivial issues.”
96 began playing in theatres mid-morning on Friday. Starring Vijay Sethupathi and Trisha in the lead, the film has been garnering positive reviews from the audience and critics alike. Read our review here.