Actor Sivakarthikeyan has moved Madras High Court alleging that producer K.E. Gnanavelraja of Studio Green Films has failed to pay him his full remuneration of Rs 15 crores for his role in the film Mr Local, which was released in 2019.
Sivakarthikeyan has urged the court to prevent the producer from investing in any of his current projects, including Rebel, Chiyaan 61, and Pathu Thala. He has also requested that Gnanavel be injuncted from transferring the rights to the three films to film distributors for theatrical release or to Over-the-Top (OTT) platforms.
The case has been scheduled for hearing on Thursday by Justice M. Sundar. According to Sivakarthikeyan, he had signed an agreement with the producer, on July 6, 2018, to play the lead in Mr Local. His remuneration for the film was fixed at Rs. 15 crores, to be paid in different installments, with the final instalment of Rs. 1 crore to be paid before the film’s release.
Although the film was released on May 17, 2019, the producer had only paid Rs 11 crores, leaving the remaining 4 crores unpaid. Despite numerous reminders, the balance did not arrive. On 1 February 2022, Sivakarthikeyan was also unexpectedly served with a notice from the Income Tax Department.
The notice was issued because the producer failed to remit TDS for an 11 crore payment. Despite filing a second writ petition in the High Court opposing the notice, the actor’s account was debited with Rs 91 lakh for the assessment years 2019-20 and 2020-21, leading him to file the current lawsuit.
Meanwhile, on the work front, Sivakarthikeayn will be seen in the upcoming Tamil-language action-comedy film, Don. The film is written and directed by Cibi Chakaravarthi in his directorial debut.
Don will feature Sivakarthikeayn in the lead role with Priyanka Arul Mohan, S. J. Suryah, Samuthirakani, and Soori appear in pivotal roles in the film. Don is slated to release in theatres on 13 May 2022.