Javed Akhtar, Shekhar Kapur tussle over Mr India: ‘How can your claim be more than mine?' says screenwriter

Responding to a tweet by Shekhar Kapur on creative rights of Mr India, Javed Akhtar writes he also had contributed immensely to the making of the film.

FP Staff February 28, 2020 15:01:51 IST
Javed Akhtar, Shekhar Kapur tussle over Mr India: ‘How can your claim be more than mine?' says screenwriter

Wading into the ongoing tussle over the reboot of cult classic Mr India, veteran lyricist-writer Javed Akhtar says director Shekhar Kapur cannot ignore his contribution as the writer by solely taking the credit for the film.

Javed Akhtar Shekhar Kapur tussle over Mr India How can your claim be more than mine says screenwriter

Javed Akhtar (left) and Shekhar Kapur. Images from Twitter

The announcement that Mr India will be rebooted in the form of a trilogy, to be directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, did not go down well with the makers of the original.

Last week, actor Sonam Kapoor Ahuja had said it was "disrespectful" the architects of the 1987 blockbuster — director Kapur and her father, actor Anil Kapoor — had not been consulted for the remake.

Kapur had also expressed his displeasure over the project. Responding to Kapur, lyricist-writer Javed Akhtar, who scripted the feature along with Salim Khan, stated the makers of the new version were not legally bound to inform people involved in the original.

“Where was his (Kapur) sense of creative outrage when he disregarded the bound script of Mr India that we had given to producer Boney Kapoor and Shekhar?” Akhtar had told The Asian Age. As per the report, Kapur said he did not stick to the script penned by Salim-Javed, and the scenes which were finally filmed were conceived and improvised on set.

Further criticising the new trilogy, Kapur on Thursday wondered how can a director's creative rights over his film be overlooked.

To this, Akhtar replied he had contributed immensely to the making of the film, the credit of which does not completely belong to Kapur.

Here are their tweets

Zee Studios is backing the new project. Shariq Patel, CEO, Zee Studios, had earlier told Indo-Asian News Service, "This is not a part 2 or a remake of the older film as recently reported in some sections of the media, but a reimagining of the iconic classic."

The film featured Anil Kapoor as Mr India and late Sridevi as a journalist, with veteran actor Amrish Puri playing the iconic villain Mogambo.

(With inputs from Press Trust of India)

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