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Shankar responds to Anniyan producer’s allegations, says he owns rights to script and story

The filmmaker stated that the late writer Sujatha was only involved in writing dialogue for the film and had nothing to do with the story.

Photo: Courtesy Shankar on Twitter.

Haricharan Pudipeddi

A day after the producer Aascar Ravichandran threatened to initiate legal proceedings if director Shankar goes ahead with his plan to remake their Tamil blockbuster Anniyan (2005) into Hindi, the latter responded, stating that he exclusively owns the rights to the film’s script and story.  

On Thursday evening, Shankar released a statement that read, “I am shocked to receive your mail dated 14.04.2021 stating that you own the storyline of the movie Anniyan. In this context, I submit that the movie was released in the year 2005 and everyone associated with the movie was aware that the script and storyline belong exclusively to me and in fact, the movie was released with the tag: Story, Screenplay and Direction by Shankar. I have not assigned in writing any script or screenplay to any person, and continue to retain the right to exploit the script in any manner I deem fit. As the admitted author of the literary work, my rights cannot be interfered with under any circumstances (sic).” 

Shankar went on to clarify that late writer Sujatha was only involved in writing dialogue for the film and had nothing to do with the story. 

“Sujatha was not involved in the script, screenplay or characterization in any manner, and there is no scope beyond his engagement as a dialogue writer. Given that the script vests with me, I am absolutely entitled to exploit the same in any manner I deem fit. In fact, you/your entity does not have the right to remake or make any derivative rights for Anniyan, as the said rights have not been granted to you in writing. In the absence of any assignment in writing from me, there can be no basis whatsoever to even assert that the storyline vests with you," the statement read.

Shankar pointed out that the producer had gained substantially from the success of Anniyan, which starred Vikram, Sada and Prakash Raj. 

“You are needlessly trying to unjustly enrich yourself even in my future endeavours which have no correlation to you. Needless to state, I can only hope good sense will prevail upon you after this clarification and you will stop agitating such baseless claims. This reply is issued without prejudice, and to clarify the actual situation of me as a director and writer being subject to such avaricious and illegal claims to needlessly attempt to jeopardise my future projects,” the statement read.