The controversy over the Mr India remake took a new twist on Friday morning. Earlier, after filmmaker Ali Abbas Zafar announced that he would be working on an “epic trilogy” based on Mr India featuring Anil Kapoor and Sridevi, it set off a chain of reactions from Shekhar Kapur and Sonam Kapoor. Mr India, an action adventure drama was written by Javed Akhtar and Salim Khan, and directed by Shekhar Kapur, released in 1987. Shekhar, the man who helmed the hit film, had 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?”
Now, the co-writer and lyricist of Mr India, Javed Akhtar has questioned Shekhar’s creative ownership over the film. In response to Shekhar’s tweet, Javed asked - “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’s tweet opens up the question - who exactly owns the copyright of Mr India?And whether Ali Abbas Zafar can remake the popular film without obtaining permissions from the original makers? Boney Kapoor, who is the producer of Mr India and has the claim over the film’s copyright, has so far not spoken about the remake. Sonam Kapoor had however tweeted that Anil Kapoor had a word with his brother Boney but were confused about the announcement.
It remains to be seen how exactly Zee Studios has obtained the copyright and permission to take forward the character of Mr India which led to this tweet by Ali Abbas Zafar.
Here’s looking to an official clarification from Zee Studios and Ali Abbas Zafar on the matter.