Sridevi's comeback film in Tamil cinema after nearly two decades, "Puli", might have failed to make much impact at the box-office, but the film is once more in spotlight as the actor and producers are engaged in a rather unattractive tussle over payment.
The actor, who plays the role of an evil queen in the movie, recently filed a complaint against the film's producers PT Selvakumar and Shibu Thameens in the producer's council for not making part of her payment. The producers reportedly owe her Rs 50 lakh for the film.
Sridevi was reportedly paid Rs 5 crore for Puli.
The producers's council has forwarded Sridevi's complaint to the Tamil producer's council.
The production house of Puli, SKT Studios, has now shot off a statement claiming that it is in fact Sridevi who owes them money and not vice versa.
In a four-page statement, the producers said that they have immense respect for Sridevi and that they signed her alongside actors including Vijay, Hansika and Shruthi Haasan for the movie.
They said that they had agreed to pay Sridevi a salary of Rs 2.7 crore for the film, along with Rs 30 lakh as service tax.
They claimed they were paying her as per their agreement. But when the movie was in its final stages of production, Sridevi's husband Boney Kapoor made a demand- if Puli was being dubbed in other languages, she needed to be paid extra.
None of the others, they said, had asked for extra payment.
They mentioned that Boney Kapoor insisted that Sridevi would come for the shoot only if she was paid extra.
The production house then said that they gave Sridevi satellite rights of 20 percent for the Hindi dubbed version of the film and Rs 15 lakhs for the dubbed version in Telugu. The producers's council was angry with their decision since this was a diversion from their norms.
They further said that the Hindi satellite rights were sold to one "Manish" and that Boney Kapoor took 15 percent of the payment- which is Rs 55 lakhs- from Manish.
They claimed that they had cleared Sridevi's entire payment and that it was the actor who owed the producers Rs 20 lakh.
Boney Kapoor even allegedly told them that Sridevi had a good market in Hindi and it was upon his word that they spent Rs 1 crore and released the film in Hindi.
"We did not get a single penny for releasing the film in Hindi," they wrote.
Additionally, they said that though the makers had hired three costume designers for Puli, Sridevi wanted designer Manish Malhotra for her costumes and that they ended up paying Rs 50 lakhs to him. They claimed that the actor also said she wanted a marketing designer for the film in Hindi and they had to pay Rs 8 lakh to the designer. "Like this, we have spent crores," they said in the statement.
Stating that the actor did not even come for the audio release of the Hindi and Telugu versions of the film, the producers made a plea asking her to put an end to the mess.
Sridevi's salvo is now awaited.