M.T. Vasudevan Nair to get his novel’s script back from director Shrikumar Menon
Finally, the deck seems to be clear for the film adaptation of M.T. Vasudevan Nair’s classic Malayalam novel, Randamoozham.
The legal battle over the novel’s screenplay written by M.T. himself is likely to be over soon. He had demanded director V.A. Shrikumar Menon return the script to him since the latter had failed to start the film’s shoot according to the time stipulated in the contract.
The director first tried to get the matter to be settled by arbitration and then demanded ₹20 crore as compensation from M.T., stating that he had incurred losses in the project to turn Randamoozham – a masterly retelling of Mahabharata from Bheema’s viewpoint — into a film. The two-year-legal battle, which began at the munsiff court here, is now at the Supreme Court.
Shrikumar’s application to withdraw the case is listed to be heard at the Supreme Court on Monday. After the withdrawal of the special leave petition, the suit filed by M.T. before the munsiff court here would be decreed according to the terms of the joint statement from the two parties.
Shrikumar thus is likely to give the script back to M.T., who, in turn, would return the advance he had received from the former. The agreement would also bar the director from making a feature film with Bheema as the central character.
M.T. would thus become free to entrust the script of Randamoozham with another director. The novel had interested other directors, even before Shrikumar approached him.
In April, 2017, Shrikumar had announced that Randamoozham would be made in multiple languages including Malayalam, English and Hindi at a cost of ₹1,000 crore and that it would be produced by the UAE-based entrepreneur B.R. Shetty. He had also said that the two-part film would be released in 2020.
The film never really took off. Shetty ran into considerable financial and legal woes.
Now though there is at last some good news for film fans.