Actor Prashanth’s mother had filed a case against its release
The Madras High Court on Friday cleared the decks for the release of actor Suriya-starrer Thaanaa Serndha Koottam (TSK) in both Tamil and Telugu on January 12 by disposing of an application by Staar Movies, a production house owned by actor Prashanth’s mother Shanthi Thiagarajan, against its release following a dispute over remake rights.
Justice M. Sundar disposed of the application seeking interim orders after observing that all disputes between the plaintiff and K. Gnanavel Raja of Studio Green, which had produced TSK, would be decided on the main civil suit.
He made it clear that there shall not be any impediment for releasing the movie, both in Tamil and Telugu, during the Pongal festival season.
In her plaint, Ms. Thiagarajan stated that a Hindi movie titled Special 26, starring Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar, was released in 2013. It was a period film inspired by the famous Opera House heist in Mumbai. The story revolves around a gang of people who, posing as Central Bureau of Investigation officers, pull off a heist with the assistance of a local police officer.
Pact signed in 2014
Since the copyright of the movie was held by its producer Viacom 18, Staar Movies had entered into an agreement with it in August 2014 and obtained the rights to remake the movie in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada. The agreement was valid for a period of three years and one of its conditions was to give due credit to the original producers in the title card.
Thereafter, in September 2016, Staar Movies assigned the right to remake the film in Tamil alone to RPP Film Factory after obtaining a consideration of ₹1.5 crore, of which ₹1.47 crore was paid to the assignor and the rest was agreed to be paid directly to the Income Tax department towards Tax Deducted at Source (TDS).
Though the agreement was valid for a period of just one year within which RPP Film Factory should have produced the movie in Tamil, it was not done so, the plaintiff claimed. It contended to have come to know recently about Mr. Raja of Studio Green trying to remake the movie by casting Mr. Suriya in the lead role.
However, senior counsel Satish Parasaran and advocate Vijayan Subramanian, representing Mr. Raja and TSK’s director Vignesh Shivan, argued that the application for interim injunction should not be entertained since it had been moved at the eleventh hour.
Though senior counsel R. Yadhod Vardhan, appearing on behalf of the plaintiff, pointed out that the makers of TSK had actually remade movie in Tamil and dubbed in Telugu too, Mr. Parasaran said the Telugu version was also remade and not dubbed.
However, the judge decided to consider all the contentious issues during the hearing of the main suit.