Director Bala on Arjun Reddy Tamil remake getting scrapped: I quit the film in order to safeguard creative freedom

Raja Sekar

Feb 10, 2019 15:55:15 IST

Varmaa director Bala was recently targeted by the film’s producer Mukesh Ratilal Mehta, who said the final version delivered by the filmmaker was unsatisfactory.

"I am forced to release this explanation due to a false statement from the producer of Varmaa. In order to safeguard creative freedom, it was my own decision to relieve myself from this project. Considering Dhruv Vikram's future, I would like to end this here,” said Bala in a statement.

Director Bala on Arjun Reddy Tamil remake getting scrapped: I quit the film in order to safeguard creative freedom

A still from the Tamil remake of Arjun Reddy, Varmaa

An agreement was signed on 22 January between Bala and Mukesh in the presence of Dhruv’s father, renowned actor Vikram. In his career, Bala hasn’t remade other language films, but as his good friend Vikram had approached him to launch his son Dhruv, the director gladly agreed.

Everything went smoothly until producer Mukesh watched the final copy of Varmaa, the remake of Telugu blockbuster Arjun Reddy. Mukesh had a heated argument with Bala as the director’s version had many new scenes compared to the original, and certain scenes which had worked well in Telugu were missing. The producer is also said to be upset with the performance of all the actors except Dhruv.

In his statement, Mukesh heavily came down on Bala and declared that he is going to scrap the content delivered by the director. Mukesh also said that he will soon begin the film from scratch with a new director. The producer added that he would retain Dhruv in the remake as the project’s intention is to give a perfect launch to the young actor in Tamil.

In his statement, Mukesh said: “E4 Entertainment had engaged B Studios to recreate the Tamil version of Arjun Reddy, titled Varmaa, on a first copy basis on the latter's insistence. We at E4 Entertainment are not at all happy with the final version handed over to us. Due to various creative and other differences, we have decided not to release this version. Instead, we will start a fresh version of Arjun Reddy with Dhruv as the main lead by staying true to the soul and intention of the original. Official announcements regarding the new cast and crew, including director will be made shortly. Despite this unfortunate turn of events which has cost us heavily, our love for wanting to see this cult film in Tamil has not diminished in any way. We will, therefore, work tirelessly as a newly united team towards a June 2019 release”.

But based on Bala’s statement and the agreement he had signed with Mukesh, it looks like the producer of Varmaa is going to only enhance the already delivered version of Bala. The agreement states that Bala agreed to hand over all the footage of the film and also issued a no objection certificate to E4 Entertainment. The production company can make changes to the existing version with their own choice of cast and crew. Bala’s one and the only condition is that his name should not be used anywhere else in the film including promotional posters, interviews, and title credits. The director also voluntarily waived all the payment E4 Entertainment was supposed to give to his production house B Studios.

Known for his award-winning films and cult fan following, the decision of Mukesh turning down Bala’s version is considered to be a huge setback for the director who actually given Vikram’s first big hit Sethu. The actor also won his first National Award for his performance in Pithamagan, directed by Bala.

Another interesting information is that E4 Entertainment didn’t inform its heroine, Megha Chowdhury, about their decision to drop Varmaa. She came to know of the development on the Internet. The latest hot buzz in Kollywood is that Vikram is holding talks with his Dhruva Natchathiram director Gautham Menon and a few other young filmmakers to enhance Bala’s version of Varmaa but things are at a nascent stage.

Reliable sources say that if the team starts shooting for the remake from the beginning, a June 2019 is impossible.

Updated Date: Feb 10, 2019 16:20:04 IST

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