Kamal Haasan
Haasan said he had mild cough upon his return from the US and had got himself tested for COVID| PTI File

Indian sequel in limbo: It's Shankar vs Kamal Haasan in court now

Actor-turned-politician, Kamal Haasan wanted the much-anticipated sequel to his vigilante blockbuster movie, Indian to release before the 2019 parliamentary polls. But Indian-2, helmed by celebrated director, Shankar, continues to languish at the shooting stage for one reason or the other.

Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan wanted the much-anticipated sequel to his vigilante blockbuster movie, Indian, to release before the 2019 parliamentary polls, but Indian-2, helmed by ace director, Shankar, continues to languish at the shooting stage for one reason or the other.

The matter has now been taken to court by Lyca Productions, the producers of Indian 2. They had approached Madras High Court, seeking a ban on director Shankar working on any other film before he completes Indian 2. Shankar is currently working on Telugu superstar, Ram Charan’s forthcoming film and on the Anniyan remake in Hindi with Ranveer Singh.

Even as Shankar demurred over the July deadline given by the producers to wrap up the film and asked for time till October in the court, Lyca was given permission to go for an appeal to ban Shankar from directing any other film before completing Indian 2. Shankar had argued that he needed time to reshoot some of the scenes, which involved comedian Vivekh, who passed away due to COVID.

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This prompted Shankar to file a counter affidavit in response to the civil suit preferred against him by Lyca Productions, in which he has given reasons for the film’s delay. Shankar said that the producers delayed the film asking him to start shooting only after his Robot-2 was released. Subsequently, when the film sets was ready in November 2018, actor Kamal Haasan developed a make-up allergy.

The shooting was postponed and then the production house allegedly ran short of funds and asked Shankar to shoot smaller schedules. Finally, after “overcoming the callous and unprofessional attitude of the applicant (producer)”, Shankar said in his affidavit, the shooting began on January 18, 2019. However, the shooting was discontinued after four days because the sets were not delivered on time and therefore there was another delay of one month, said the director, one of the highest-paid directors in the industry.

Shankar has squarely placed the delay of the film at the producer’s door. According to him, the production house was delaying the shoot for one reason or the other.

Later, a crane accident took place on the sets of the film in February 2020, which claimed the lives of three crew members. This was also another setback for the film. He also told the court that he had spent three precious years of his career on making this incomplete movie and the delay led to many actors, including Kamal Haasan to act in other movies. But the production house had chosen to move the court only to prevent him from directing a movie with Telugu actor Ram Charan and it shows the mala fide intent, he said.

Further, the director added that Indian-2 is very dear to his heart and that he had no intention to abandon the movie. He is willing to complete the film if the production house settled the dues to all the actors and technicians and provided unstinted cooperation in completing the project, he told the court.

The case hearing has been adjourned to June 4. In Indian, Kamal Haasan played the double role of a senior patriot Senapathi and his corrupt son Chandru, who quietly and efficiently eliminates corrupt people in the system. The film was also nominated for the Oscars by India. In Indian-2 too, Senapathi (Kamal Haasan) will return to root out corruption.

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