Not many would have expected the recently announced Anniyan remake to be followed by an array of controversies in merely over 24 hours. After it was confirmed that Ranveer Singh will be starring in the remake of Anniyan and the film will be directed by Shankar himself, it saw an uninvited controversy where the producer of the original issued an open letter claiming rights and asking Shankar to stop making it followed by a legal letter.
Now, Shankar decided to respond to it. While this movie released in 2005, it clearly stated that the story, screenplay and direction of the movie was by Shankar.
Shankar wrote, Greetings for the day, I am shocked to receive your mail dated 14.04.2021 stating that you own the storyline of the movie Anniyan. In this context, I submit that the movie was released in the year 2005 and everyone associated with the movie was aware that the script and storyline belong exclusively to me and in fact, the movie was released with the tag: Story, Screenplay and Direction by Shankar.” He further mentioned that as he has never given in writing the right of the script or screenplay to any person other than him, he has full authority to use it the way he wants it.
“I have not assigned in writing any script or screenplay to any person, and continue to retain the right to exploit the script in any manner I deem fit. As the admitted author of the literary work, my rights cannot be interfered with under any circumstances,” read his letter further. He was also taken by surprise when he saw the late Sri Sujatha name in Ravichandran’s letter, as Shankar had roped him in for penning down the dialogues only.
It further read, “I am rather surprised to see the reference to late Sri Sujatha, as he was engaged by me only to write dialogues for the film and was accordingly credited. He was not involved in the script, screenplay or characterization in any manner, and there is no scope beyond his engagement as a dialogue writer.”
He further mentioned, “Given that the script vests with me, I am absolutely entitled to exploit the same in any manner I deem fit. In fact, you/your entity does not have the right to remake or make any derivative rights for “Anniyan”, as the said rights have not been granted to you in writing. In the absence of any assignment in writing from me, there can be no basis whatsoever to even assert that the “storyline” vests with you.”
Shankar stated in the capacity of a producer of Anniyan he has gained from the success of the film and shall not have anything related to the director's future endeavours. “You as the producer have gained substantially from the success of the film “Anniyan”, and are needlessly trying to unjustly enrich yourself even in my future endeavours which have no correlation to you.”
On the end note he urged the producer to stop spreading baseless rumours and tarnishing his image, “Needless to state, I can only hope good sense will prevail upon you after this clarification and you will stop agitating such baseless claims. This reply is issued without prejudice, and to clarify the actual situation of me as a director and writer being subject to such avaricious and illegal claims to needlessly attempt to jeopardise my future projects. (sic)”