When news emerged of filmmaker E Niwas remaking the 1965 Manoj Kumar hit ‘Gumnaam’, there was one person in particular who wasn’t happy about it at all. Pravesh Sippy, son of original producer N Sippy, immediately contacted Niwas to set the record straight about not holding the rights to the film.
“I saw news stories in which they had used stills from our film and I was livid, especially because I am making the remake myself and have a first draft ready,” Mumbai Mirror reports Sipppy expressing.
He went on to add, “Niwas was polite but mostly evasive during our conversation and said that he will make me speak to his producer. Minutes after I hung up, I got a call from Mr Jayantilal Gada who informed me that he is producing Niwas’s film.”
Apparently Gada had spoken to Sippy a few years back asking for the rights of the film, however due to Sippy himself wanting to have his own version of the film, he refused. Despite the producer claimed he had already bought the rights to the film’s title track ‘Gumnaam Hai Koi’. and was planning to use it and it’s title.
Talking about the conversation he had with Gada, Sippy expressed, “He reiterated that his film is not a remake of ‘Gumnaam’ but a completely new script. I continued my research and found out that there are certain similarities between Niwas’s script and the original. His film has some 7-8 characters like ‘Gumnaam’.
Infuriated by Niwas and Gada still going ahead with their plans even after he has refused the the rights, Sippy has decided to take some legal action just in case. “I have started feeding my lawyer with information on this, but I would prefer to settle this out of court. If that doesn’t happen, I will resort to legal action to safeguard my rights,” he said.
“I will ask Niwas and Gada saab to show me their script and if there is no resemblance with the original, I will let them go ahead with it,” he added.
When Gada was contacted and questioned on the matter, he simply said, “Sanjay Masoom has written the script which is completely original. If ‘Sholay’ (1975) had 10 cast members, it doesn’t mean another film can’t have the same number of people. We are going on the floors with the film next month.”
Looks like this may be a long battle between the filmmakers.
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