A day after producer Vishnu Induri announced a film (to be directed by Raj) on the friendship between former Andhra Pradesh Chief Ministers Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy (YSR) and Chandrababu Naidu (CBN), the project seems to be in the soup.
Renowned filmmaker Deva Katta has reacted, saying that idea was originally his, and that he had met Vishnu and discussed it in December 2015.
“Actually, Vishnu approached me to remake the Katrina Kaif-starrer Raajneeti in Telugu. But since the story draws parallels to the epic Mahabharata, we decided to make an original film on the Mahabharata itself. However, that did not materialise either,” recalls Deva Katta, adding that, later, he had pitched two ideas to Vishnu — one an NTR biopic, and another, a film on the friendship between YSR and CBN.
“Vishnu liked the idea of the NTR biopic, and even asked me to direct the film in 2017. But by then I had already committed to doing the remake of Prasthanam in Hindi, so I couldn’t take it up. The film eventually landed in Krish’s lap. I did not create a ruckus at that time, saying that it my story idea, because I was happy that Krish was to direct the film,” says Deva Katta. He added that in 2017 he had registered six different versions of scripts on the YSR-CBN friendship (inspired by Godfather) ‘out of sheer respect for YSR garu and CBN garu.”
“Vishnu stole my idea of the NTR biopic, and now he is also stealing my other idea on the friendship between YSR and CBN. I will not allow this to happen. If I find his story similar to mine, I am going to initiate legal action,” threatens Deva Katta.
Meanwhile, Vishnu asserts that both the ideas are his own. He admits that he had met Deva Katta in 2015 for the Raajneeti remake, but his account of the meeting is different from Deva Katta’s. Vishnu says, “At our meeting we discussed the NTR biopic where I narrated 30 to 40 scenes to him; he did not narrate a single scene to me.”
Vishnu also alleges that there are a lot of inconsistencies in Deva Katta’s statements. “On Twitter he posted that we stole his script, and in other places he is saying we stole his idea and agrees that our story was completely different. If it was his idea, how would I narrate 30 to 40 scenes to him and he not narrate a single scene to me?” Vishnu asks. “We never discussed the CBN-YSR friendship concept,” he adds, saying that though Deva Kata may have had those two ideas, “He did not pitch a story to me.”
While insisting that the idea of an NTR biopic was his original one, Vishnu says “Films on popular people can be made by anyone. Each one will have a different screenplay. Any number of films can be made on the same individual.”
He said he would be going ahead with the project on the CBN-YSR friendship.