Kolayuthir Kaalam starring Nayanthara as the lead has been long delayed, having started production in mid 2016. Amidst a controversial audio launch that took place in Chennai a couple of months ago, during which Radha Ravi slut shamed Nayanthara resulting in a backlash, the film was finally set to release this Friday on June 14.
Now, it looks like the film’s release might be delayed further with a Madras High Court ruling that has come in on Tuesday. Justice Krishnan Ramaswamy granted interim injunction on the film’s release asking for the producers to respond by June 21.
A petition was filed by director K Balaji Kumar earlier this month in which he claims to hold rights to the film’s title, Kolayuthir Kaalam. Balaji Kumar made his debut as director in 2013 with Vidiyum Munn starring Pooja as the lead.
Kolayuthir Kaalam happens to be the title of writer Sujatha’s novel that came out in 1981. Balaji claims to have bought the rights to this novel along with its title in the name of his mother Thangam Krishnamurthy on April 1, 2014 from the author’s wife Sujatha Rangarajan for a sum of Rs 10 lakh.
After the passing of his mother in 2018, Balaji claims to hold the rights now. He further highlights that 'Kolayuthir' is a Tamil word coined by Sujatha himself to be used in his book's title. “Since I purchased the novel, I hold the rights to the novel and its title,” he writes in his petition. He also states that his repeated legal notices to bring his copyright claim to the attention of the producers went unanswered.
Kolayuthir Kaalam has been produced by V Mathiyalagan of Etcetera Entertainment in association with Starpolaris Pictures LLP. The film has been directed by Chakri Toleti of Unnaipol Oruvan fame. Its Hindi version also by Chakri, Khamoshi, stars Tamannaah.
In his petition, Balaji seeks an interim injunction that restricts the filmmakers from releasing the movie under the disputed title. He states in the petition that allowing them to do so would crush his dreams of turning the novel into a film.
However, speaking to TNM, producer Mathiyalagan was confident about the film’s release. “We have already registered the film’s title ‘Kolayuthir Kaalam’ with the Tamil Film Producers’ Council. More over, the film is not based on writer Sujatha’s novel. We are trying to file a case tomorrow to vacate the stay. The film will released as per plan,” he says.