"How can your claim on the film be more than mine."
Lyricist and co-writer of Mr India (1987), Javed Akhtar has reacted to the highly-profile Mr India (1987) remake controversy as he hits out at director Shekhar Kapur’s claim over the film.
The controversy surfaced after Tiger Zinda Hai (2017) director Ali Abbas Zafar’s announcement on Twitter that he will be writing the Mr India trilogy which will be produced by Zee Studios.
The film is being considered as a spin-off the original Mr India (1987) and according to the filmmakers, the process is at the scripting stage. The casting for the trilogy will begin once the first draft has been completed.
Reacting to the news, director Shekhar Kapur condemned the remake. He 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?”
In response to Shekhar Kapur’s tweet, Javed Akhtar took to Twitter to share his view on the claim. He said:
“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.”
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
Bollywood actress and daughter of Mr India (1987) star Anil Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor took to Instagram to express her view on the matter. She said:
“A lot of people have been asking me about the MR. India remake. Honestly my father didn’t even know the film was being remade, we found out about it through social media when @aliabbaszafar tweeted.
“It’s quite disrespectful and underhanded if it is true, since no one bothered to consult my father or Shekhar uncle, two people who played a major role in making the film what it was and is.
“It’s sad because that was a film made with heart and hard work and is very sentimental to my father, beyond commerce and announcements, it’s a part of his legacy.
“I should hope that respect for someone’s work and contribution is still as important to us as a big weekend at the box office.”
Shortly after Sonam’s post about the remake of Mr India (1987), she was questioned by people about her uncle Boney Kapoor’s contribution to Mr India 2. She explained:
“My father did have a word with him actually. We are still very confused about how it was announced.”
In a second post, she added, “My father was part producer, he made the film happen. And Shekhar Kapur directed the film. He is the captain of the ship. So your argument is redundant and very obvious trolling.”
The debate of remaking classic films took over social media.
A Twitter user asked director Shekhar Kapur about the remake announcement and he replied saying he was “amazed” about Mr India 2. He said:
“No one has even asked me or mentioned to me about this film called Mr India 2. I can only guess that they used the title to get a big weekend.
“For they cannot use the characters/story without permission from the original creators of the film.”
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. https://t.co/Set5eDH63j
— Shekhar Kapur (@shekharkapur) February 18, 2020
Undoubtedly, the havoc and chaos of the possible Mr India (1987) remake is causing quite a stir on social media.
Amidst the spat, an old interview of the late Sridevi resurfaced. In the video, she states how the remake of Mr India (1987) is something she does not wish to see and is impossible to recreate.
Shekhar Kapur said, “This HAS to be the final word on #Mr India remake. #Sridevi was always against it.”
The Mr India (1987) controversy is certainly on-going. We wait to see whether a Mr India (1987) remake will be in the pipeline after heavy criticism.