Vishal’s ‘Mark Antony’ in trouble: Madras High Court bans the film release

(This article is authored by Alar)

The much-awaited film ‘Mark Antony’, starring SJ Suryah and Vishal, has hit a roadblock as the Madras High Court has issued a ban on its release. The court order comes after Lyca Productions, the production house that bankrolled the film Veerame Vagai Soodum in 2019, filed a case against Vishal in the Madras High Court for violation of the agreement.

The production house filed a petition against Vishal for failing to pay Rs 15 crore out of the Rs 21.29 crore owed to them and Vishal had to hand over the rights of all the films to Lyca until the entire amount was paid back. According to the petition, Vishal had signed an agreement with Lyca Productions in 2019 to produce and act in the film.

The agreement stated that Vishal would pay Rs 21.29 crore to Lyca Productions as the cost of production and that he would not release the film without their consent.  However, Lyca Productions alleged that Vishal breached the agreement by not paying the full amount and released the film, without their approval. They also claimed that they had sent several notices to Vishal, but he did not respond.

A two-judge bench heard the appeal filed by Vishal against the order and confirmed the order of the single judge. Furthermore, if the payment is not made, Vishal's films will be banned from release in theatres or on OTT platforms until verdict.

Moreover, Lyca Productions claimed that Vishal hadn't filed his property details as per the order issued in 2022 and had no financial source, but he received 1 crore rupees from Vinod Kumar, the owner of Mini Studio Company, giving false information to the court.

Following this, Judge Asha ordered Vishal to appear in person on September 12 due to non-implementation of the High Court's orders, ordered a ban on the release of the Mark Antony film in which he acted, and adjourned the hearing. The court also directed Vishal to file his counter-affidavit within two weeks. Mark Antony was announced earlier to release in September 15th.

The ban on ‘Mark Antony’ comes as a setback for the makers, who had been promoting the film recently.  The film's impressive star cast includes Selvaraghavan, Sunil, Abhinaya, and Vinod in pivotal roles. Mark Antony is produced by S Vinod Kumar of Mini Studio, and the music is composed by GV Prakash Kumar, who has collaborated with Adhik Ravichandran for the third time after Trisha Illana Nayanthara and Anbanaavan Asaradhavan Adangathavan. The cinematography is done by Abhinandham Ramanujam and the editing is by Vijay Velukutty.