The announcement of a Mr India trilogy has created a buzz in the Hindi film industry. While some are curious to see how the cult classic film will be rebooted, the director of the 1987 movie, Shekar Kapur has been miffed with the announcement. His stance is that, and rightfully so, no one took his permission to remake the movie and so this is a moral violation of his copyright over it.
Not only Shekar, but one of Mr India's lead actors, Anil Kapoor also expressed disappointment when he heard the news. However, its producer Boney Kapoor seemed to be in the know which has caused confusion among the makers of the original film. Shekar explained what the situation is, and what legal steps he is planning to take to tackle this, in an interview.
Speaking to Mid-Day, Shekar said, "Where is the director's ownership on the material he has created? It (the reboot) is based on what I have created. Now, I am in touch with lawyers all over the world to (tackle) the issue. It's about creating a new understanding of creative authorship of the principal director of a film. The model is (followed) in many nations of the world, including Australia, and the US. As the director, I am the prime author of the movie. I must have rights to the future remake of the film created by me. This calls for a change in the constitutional copyright laws. This is not about Mr India anymore."
A few days back, Ali Abbas Zafar took to social media to announce that he will be writing and directing the trilogy, which will be produced by Zee Studios. Talking about Boney's role in the trilogy, Shekar said, "[When I questioned him], he (Boney) said nothing is set in stone. Anil was equally disturbed that he didn't know about it. It's time to have a serious legal discussion here to reinterpret the copyright act so that it accords authorship of a film to the principal director. This is not directed at Boney, or the current director, or Zee Studios. It is directed at the act itself."
Mr India starred Anil and Sridevi as the lead couple with Amrish Puri as the villain.