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Vadivelu agrees to complete his portions in Imsai Arasan 23 M Pulikesi sequel

Vadivelu's decision assumes significance as the issue had led to a serious dispute between director Shankar and Vadivelu.

Manigandan KR

If sources in the industry are to be believed, well-known comedian Vadivelu, who had earlier ruled out the possibility of acting in Imsai Arasan 24 M Pulikesi, the sequel to the blockbuster, Imsai Arasan 23 M Pulikesi (2006), has now finally given in and agreed to complete his portions in the film.

Vadivelu's decision to complete his portions in the film being directed by Simbudevan and produced by ace director Shankar assumes significance as the issue had led to a serious dispute between director Shankar and Vadivelu. In fact, Shankar had even lodged a complaint against the comedian in the Tamil Film Producers' Council (TFPC) stating that the actor, after having agreed to play the lead in the sequel of the immensely successful film, was refusing to act now.

The TFPC, in turn, forwarded Shankar's complaint to the Nadigar Sangam, which sought an explanation from Vadivelu as to why he was refusing to act after having signed an agreement and after having worked for 10 days on the project.

Vadivelu, in his response to the South Indian Artistes Association (SIAA) better known as the Nadigar Sangam, claimed that he had agreed to act in the sequel of the film on 1 June 2016 and that he was assured that they would complete shooting this film by December 2016. Vadivelu said that the team kept him from signing other films during this period. He told the Nadigar Sangam that he honoured his end of the deal and did not sign any other projects, thereby letting go of many opportunities. However, Vadivelu alleged that the team did not honour their end of the bargain and that they did not even begin the film by December 2016.

"Despite this, I gave them dates and acted as per their wishes. However, S Pictures removed my personal costume designer and lodged a complaint with the producers' council [TFPC] in which they tried to portray a wrong picture, saying that the popularity I enjoy today is only because of having acted in the first part of this film. After having signed this film, I did not accept any other films despite getting many such offers during 2016-2017. As a result, I have suffered mentally and financially. The Nadigar Sangam's move to compel me to act in this film before hearing my side of the story is against the rules. If I continue to act in this film, all other films that I have signed will be affected. I hereby state that I am unable to allocate anymore dates to work in Imsai Arasan 23 M Pulikesi 2 due to financial, family and emotional reasons," Vadivelu had said in his reply to the Nadigar Sangam.

This reply seems to have stung producer Shankar, who is then believed to have filed another complaint against the comedian in the producers' council. This time, Shankar wanted the council to get Vadivelu to pay him a sum of Rs9 crore as compensation for having started a huge project and for walking out of it half way through. Sources also say the producer and his team were looking at taking Vadivelu to court over the issue. Moreover, the council itself was considering the possibility of red carding the comedian, which would then mean he would not be able to act in any films being made in the Tamil film industry.

These seem to be the circumstances under which Vadivelu seems to have finally given in. The actor, it is believed, has now consented to complete his remaining portions in the film. Work on preparation for the shoot are now on in full swing.