Filmmaker Ketan Mehta first announced this ambitious feature film, Rani Of Jhansi, in 2015 with actress Kangana Ranaut in the lead. Since then the project hasn’t moved to the next stage — filming. The director and actress were said to be at an impasse regarding the script and its potential. In March, it was announced that the two would be going their separate ways and Ranaut has moved on to a rival project, Manikarnika – The Queen Of Jhansi, directed by Krish.
Now, Ketan Mehta is accusing the actress of hijacking his project and colluding with his producer Kamal Jain and others for it. He has sent a legal notice to her for ditching the project after discussing certain pertinent material and moving on to another film on the same subject.
Mehta told the IANS news agency, “Yes, it is true. We have sent a notice to Kangana as I think there is an attempt of hijacking a film. I had approached her in June 2015 regarding this project and she had readily agreed to do it and enough statements have been made by her showing the commitment about the project."
He revealed that he had shared the script and certain research material with the actress. “After this, suddenly we hear that she is doing a project with some other producer. I find this completely unethical," he said.
The filmmaker feels particularly aggrieved as he had put a decade of his life into the project. He said his lawyer would take up the case against the actress, who is yet to respond to these latest changes.
Ranaut’s Manikarnika – The Queen Of Jhansi is due to be released sometime in April 2018. The script is written by Vijayendra Prasad, the writer behind the blockbuster Baahubali 2: The Conclusion.
The actress seems to have her hands full with controversies this week. Simran writer Apurva Asrani wrote a lengthy online post about having to share his writing credit with Kangana on the Hansal Mehta film.
— With inputs from IANS