When Sridevi’s first looks in Tamil movie ‘Puli’ (as the ‘evil’ queen) was unveiled, it garnered lot of interest among her fans (the character also looked a lot like Angelina Jolie’s character in Maleficent). However, the movie could not set the box-office on fireworks. Nor was Sridevi’s role as Queen Yavanarani was appreciated by fans and audiences alike. Now ‘Puli’ is back in the news, but this time it’s because of Sridevi’s fight with Puli’s producers over remuneration.
Sridevi had filed a complaint at the Mumbai Producer’s Council claiming that the producers of “Puli” owe her Rs. 50 lakhs (it seems the veteran superstar was signed for a whooping Rs. 6 crores).
Producer Shibu Thameens, who was in hospital for a surgery, could not revert back on the allegation immediately.
Will clarify Sridevi mam complaint ,postpone my surgery tomorrow nd joining my partner pts in chennai pic.twitter.com/1TXCwdDNsv
— Shibu Thameens (@shibuthameens) November 8, 2015
But bow the movie’s producers have come back with their side of the story.
The makers of Tamil fantasy drama “Puli”, on the contrary, claim that Sridevi owe them Rs. 20 lakh, and they don’t owe her a single penny.
It seems the producers (Shibu Thameens and P.T Selvakumar) had signed the veteran actress for Rs. 2.7 crore (another Rs. 30 lakh as service tax). And they agreed to cough out that huge amount because of their respect for the veteran actress.
“However, in the final stages of production, Sridevi’s husband Boney Kapoor asked us to pay her extra, as we were planning to release the film in other languages too,” said the producers. Boney Kapoor told the filmmakers that Sridevi would only come to the shoot if she was paid extra.
Because, Sridevi played a pivotal role in the movie, the filmmakers decided to pay her 20 percent of the film’s Hindi satellite rights, which was Rs. 55 lakh and Rs. 15 lakh for the dubbed Telugu version.
It was also at the behest of Kapoor (who convinced the producers that Sridevi has a very good market in Hindi) that the film-makers decided to release the film in Hindi.
The cost for the Hindi version kept on escalating, with Sridevi insisting that the producers hire Manish Malhotra (additional Rs. 50 lakh) as the main costume designer (the producers already had hired three costume designers for the movie). Another Rs. 8 lakh was spent on a marketing designer for the film’s Hindi version.
The filmmakers said that they spent additional crores, just to please Sridevi, and despite all their efforts, Sridevi didn’t even come for the film’s audio launch.
“She owes us money,” said the producers.