It was announced recently that Ali Abbas Zafar will write and direct the new Mr India trilogy.
Mr India co-writer Javed Akhtar on Friday questioned director Shekhar Kapur's claim over Mr India. In a tweet, Akhtar outlined his contribution to Mr India, and asked Kapur how he can seek claim over the film.
"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 your idea. It wasn’t your dream," Akhtar 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
Javed Akhtar's tweet was a reply to Shekhar Kapur's post on Twitter, where he asked if a 'director had any creative rights over what he/she created.'
Kapur tweeted, "The argument on a remake of #MrIndia is not that no one took permission from me or even bothered to tell me. The question is. If you are remaking a feature film, based on a director’s very successful work, does the Director have no creative rights over what he/she created?"
Controversy arose last week when Tiger Zinda Hai director Ali Abbas Zafar tweeted that he will write and helm Mr India trilogy being produced by Zee Studios. The film is being touted as a spin-off of the original blockbuster. As per the makers, the project is currently in the scripting stage and casting will begin once the first draft is locked.
Soon after, a fresh debate about remaking classic films began doing the rounds of social media. When a Twitter user asked Indian 2 director Shekhar Kapur about his take on the announcement, Kapur revealed that he was equally "amazed" about Mr India 2. Replying to a tweet, he wrote, "No one has even asked me or mentioned to me about this film called Mr India 2. I can only guess that they using the title to get a big weekend. For they cannot use the characters/story without permission from the original creators of the film."
The argument on a remake of #MrIndia is not that no one took permission from me or even bothered to tell me.
The question is. If you are remaking a feature film, based on a director’s very successful work, does the Director have no creative rights over what he/she created?
— Shekhar Kapur (@shekharkapur) February 27, 2020
We sit with writers from day one, but are not the writer. Help actors hone performances but are not actors. Develop and create visual language of film. Slave hours over editing consoles. Directors lead and inspire every aspect of a film and have no creative rights? #MrIndia
— Shekhar Kapur (@shekharkapur) February 22, 2020
He also mentioned on Twitter, "We sit with writers from day one, but are not the writer. Help actors hone performances but are not actors. Develop and create visual language of film. Slave hours over editing consoles. Directors lead and inspire every aspect of a film and have no creative rights? #MrIndia"
Sonam Kapoor soon took to her Instagram account and shared a long post calling out the makers of the remake for disrespecting her father Anil Kapoor and Shekhar Kapur. She also shared that Anil Kapoor had no idea about the remake of his hit film.
"A lot of people have been asking me about the Mr India remake. Honestly, my father didn’t even know that the film was being remade, we found about it through social media when Ali Abbas Zafar tweeted. It’s quite disrespectful and underhanded, if it is true, since no one bothered to ask my father or Shekhar uncle – two people who made a major role in making the film what it was and what it is," a portion of Sonam's post read.
Sunita Kapoor, Rhea Kapoor and Harshvardhan Kapoor also agreed with Sonam's post. Rhea, on her social media handle, added, "Some things go beyond money, ambition, paperwork, semantics. Somethings are pure and need to be protected. If you respected the legacy, you would show respect and do it the right way. Let’s try not to make a project out of everything."
Soon after, Sonam Kapoor was questioned by many on social media about the Kapoor family not discussing the matter at home with her father's brother Boney Kapoor, who bankrolled Mr India. Replying to numerous tweets, Sonam wrote, "My father did have a word with him actually. we are all still very confused about how it was announced." In another tweet, she mentioned, "My father was part producer, he made the film happen. And shekhar kapoor directed the film. He is the captain of the ship. So your argument is redundant and very obvious trolling."
Amid the entire row, an old video interview of Sridevi also emerged where the late actor states how she would never wish to see a remake of Mr India. Referring to the same, Shekhar Kapur wrote, "This HAS to be the final word on #MrIndia remake. #Sridevi was always against it."