In what has become the latest dispute in Kollywood, the conflict between popular actor Sivakarthikeyan and well-known producer K E Gnanavel Raja has become the talk across and beyond the K-town as their friction has reached the court where both of them levy charges against each other. The crux of the conflict is a payment for Sivakarthikeyan for the movie 'Mr Local', which was released in 2019.
Recently, Sivakarthikeyan has knocked on the doors of the Madras High Court and filed a petition in which he alleged that producer Gnanavel Raja has refused to pay him his full salary for the movie Mr Local. The movie was helmed by Rajesh and didn't do well at the box office. Sivakarthikeyan has played the lead role in the movie and as per his plea, his salary was fixed to Rs 15 crore, but Gnanavel Raja, who bankrolled the movie under his banner Studio Green, had paid him only Rs 11 crore.
The actor has sought the directive from the High Court to order Gnanavel Raja to pay him the rest of the salary - Rs 4 crore. When the matter of legal battle came to light, it has sent shockwaves beyond Tamil Nadu and in his petition, Sivakarthikeyan has also demanded the court ban Gnanavel Raja's current projects including Vikram's 'Chiyaan 61' and Simbu's 'Pathu Thala'. The actor has also asked the court to block the producer from carrying out his investments and dealings until he pays the rest of his salary.
The court has admitted Sivakarthikeyan's petition and issued notice to Gnanavel Raja. In his response, the producer has completed rebutted the charges from Sivakarthikeyan. Gnanavel Raja said that initially, Studio Green has agreed to pay Rs 1 crore for Sivakarthikeyan as his salary in 2013 for the same movie and the company has given him Rs 10 lakhs in advance. The agreement was signed. However, the project didn't get materialized.
After five years, in 2018, the agreement for the project was renewed for the movie Mr Local. Studio Green has agreed to pay Rs 15 crore for Sivakarthikeyan as his salary and of which, Rs 12.78 crore was paid to the actor. In his petition, Gnanavel Raja further said that he was not convinced by the story of Mr Local and he was forced by the actor through the director to produce the movie following which he produced the movie. He further said he had incurred a heavy loss.
It has been reported that Mr Local was made at the budget of Rs 35 crore and in his petition, Gnanavel Raja further alleged that he had faced a loss to the tune of Rs 20 crore. After the loss, he said that he had faced trouble from the distributors and Sivakarthikeyan told him not to pay him the balance salary and asked to fix the issues with the distributors. However, Gnanavel Raja claimed that Sivakarthikeyan had later pressured him to pay the rest of the salary.
The producer said that Sivakarthikeyan has now come to court three years after the movie's release and stated that the actor has hidden many facts in his petition. Gnanavel Raja has asked the High Court to dismiss Sivakarthikeyan's petition by imposing a penalty on the latter. After recording his submissions, the single-judge High Court bench of Justice M Sundar has on Thursday- March 31 adjourned the matter to April 7, 2022.