Exclusive: “Just as Javed Akhtar fought for writers’ rights, I’m going to fight for directors’ rights” – Shekhar Kapur on Mr. India reboot

Shekhar Kapur is taking Zee Studios to court. And  not only in India. Zee’s decision to take Shekhar  Kapur directed iconic blockbuster Mr. India forward has incurred the normally-equanimous Shekhar’s ire.

Exclusive: “Just as Javed Akhtar fought for writers' rights, I’m going to fight for directors’ rights" - Shekhar Kapur on Mr. India reboot

On a flash-visit to India, Shekhar spoke from the airport on Sunday afternoon just before flying out. “I was here to consult lawyers. I am taking the legal route with them (Zee Studios) across the world. I am meeting lawyers trying to understood how best to take this. You see, copyright laws have always been nebulous in our country.”

It’s time to change that. Says Shekhar, “Javed (Akhtar) fought a long and hard battle to win the copyright ownership on behalf of writers. It’s time for me to do the same for directors. My legal battle is  no longer about Mr. India only. It’s about the directors’ rights over their films.”

Speaking on the ambivalence of copyrights, Shekhar says, “We’ve never been clear on this issue. Except AR Rahman, who owns the copyrights of all his songs. The rest of the entertainment industry has never cared about copyright ownership. It’s time to change that. Who owns the right of a film? How far does the director’s influence and rights extend over a film? We will let the courts decide that.”

Speaking on Mr. India , the question was if producer  Boney Kapoor has given away the rights of  Mr. India to the Zee group. “It’s not his to give away. Boney has the rights of Mr. India, not its sequel or any other spinoffs,” says Shekhar who is educating himself on the legal aspects of copyright ownership.

Shekhar says he is getting ready for a long court battle. “I am aware it’s going to be tough. But I promise you I am going to see this to its closure.”

Also Read: Mr. India 2: “It wasn’t your idea. It wasn’t your dream,” says Javed Akhtar responding to Shekhar Kapur

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