'Mr. India' row: Javed Akhtar lashes out at Shekhar Kapur
The announcement of a planned reboot of the 1987 Bollywood movie Mr. India has got mired in a major controversy. After director Ali Abbas Zafar announced that he would soon helm a spin-off trilogy of the cult classic, Shekhar Kapur, the director of the original movie, slammed him. Now, Javed Akhtar, who co-wrote Mr. India, has jumped into the controversy.
Yesterday, a vexed Shekhar complained that no one took permission from him or informed him about the remake. He further asked if a director has no creative rights over their product. Now, Javed has lashed out at Shekhar, saying Mr. India was not his idea. "I gave it all to you...It wasn't you idea. It wasn't your dream," Javed tweeted.
Shekhar saheb the story the situations the scenes the characters the dialogue the lyrics even the title none of these were yours .I gave it all to you . Yes you execute it very well but how can your claim on the film be more than mine . It wasn’t you idea . It wasn’t your dream— Javed Akhtar (@Javedakhtarjadu) February 28, 2020
In fact, in an interaction with Mid-Day, Shekhar had hinted that he is planning to go to court over the matter. He said, "I am in touch with lawyers all over the world to [tackle] the issue...This calls for a change in the constitutional copyright laws. This is not about Mr. India anymore." In India, the copyright of a movie lies with its producer(s).
Shekhar further revealed that he also reached out to Boney Kapoor, the producer of the Mr. India. He said, "[When I questioned Boney], he said nothing is set in stone." Shekhar said that actor Anil Kapoor, the star of the original movie, was "equally disturbed" about the remake. Earlier, actor Sonam Kapoor had called out Zafar and the makers of the rebooted movie.
Mr. India, a superhero movie also starring late actor Sridevi, is one of the most celebrated Hindi movies of all time. Co-penned by Salim Khan along with Javed, the movie became a cult classic, courtesy iconic characters such as Mr. India and the infamous villain Mogambo (played by late actor Amrish Puri), and superhit songs such as Hawa Hawaii.