Amit Mehra celebrating Zanjeer’s no-show at the box office
Truth is stranger than fiction. Amit Mehra, the second son of Prakash Mehra is allegedly celebrating ‘Zanjeer’s no-show at the box office, despite the fact that his siblings, Sumeet and Puneet, are credited as producers of the film, a remake of their father’s 70’s hit.
TOI has it that a group of Amit’s associates were loudly toasting the debacle at a Juhu cafe, announcing for all to hear, “Good that the film has flopped. Don’t be surprised if the prints land up back with Puneet, Sumeet and Reliance (co-producers).”When contacted, Puneet took the lid off the dispute. “Sumeet and I were totally against Amit’s idea of remaking dad’s 1973 blockbuster. We realised that he had finalised his director and even the hero. He pleaded that if we do not give him the licensing right for a certain fee, he’ll be finished. And we relented,” said Puneet.
But Amit soon faltered on the payment and a legal battle followed. “We received a letter from Amit saying Prakash Mehra Productions has cheated me. Prove it that you indeed have the rights to the film. And thereafter, he stopped paying us. We would have sorted it out with him but he decided to challenge our Copyright to Zanjeer in court,” says the producer.
After the matter escalated, Sumeet and Puneet got an injunction on the film and Amit had to absolve himself from the project. “We took over as producers only on the condition that Amit should no more be a part of the film. We could have stalled the film but a lot of hard work by several people from the cast and crew had already been put in,” he added.
Meanwhile, writers of Prakash Mehra’s film, Salim-Javed were staking their claims on the film and Puneet claims that Amit helped strengthen their case. Zanjeer finally released but quickly bit the dust.
Prod Puneet to comment on the film’s quality and he says, “Look, some films do well, some do not. What hurts us is that Amit challenged the copyright of our father’s property and made us run from pillar to post to retain it.”
“Classics like Zanjeer should not be tampered with. My father’s shoes are too big for anybody. Amit has backstabbed our father but with people comparing the new Zanjeer to the old one, my father’s name stands tall and that’s the last hurrah,” he added.
On the other hand, Sumeet who is settled in the States is not shying away from talking about the “folly” to have attempted a remake on their father’s film. He says, “Amit has turned out to be the black sheep of our family. We never wanted this to be made.”
Amit remained unavailable for comment.