The producers of Tamil fantasy drama Puli have said that actor Sridevi, who played the evil queen in the film, owes them Rs 20 lakh. The Bollywood queen had earlier claimed in a complaint to the Mumbai Producer’s Council that Puli’s producers owed her Rs 50 lakhs. In the latest development, producers Thameens and PT Selvakumar said they signed the veteran actor out of respect and agreed to pay Rs 2.7 crore as her salary along with Rs 30 lakh as service tax.
“We were paying her as per the agreement she had signed at the beginning of the film. However, in the final stages of production, Sridevi’s husband Boney Kapoor asked us to pay her extra as we were planning to release the film in other languages too,” read the statement. The statement said Boney Kapoor told the filmmakers that Sridevi would only come to the shoot if she was paid extra.
“After much deliberation, we decided to pay her 20% of the film’s Hindi satellite rights, which was Rs 55 lakh, and Rs 15 lakh for the dubbed Telugu version,” the statement added. It was at the behest of Boney Kapoor, who convinced them that Sridevi has very good market in Hindi, that the makers decided to release the film in Hindi.
“We had hired three costume designers for Puli, but Sridevi insisted that we sign Manish Malhotra, and we paid him Rs 50 lakh. She also convinced us to pay Rs 8 lakh for the marketing designer for the film’s Hindi version,” read the statement.
The makers said they spent crores just for the sake of Sridevi. Despite doing so much, she didn’t even come for the film’s audio launch. “She owes us money,” the statement concluded. Puli, directed by Chimbu Deven, stars Vijay, Shruti Haasan and Hansika Motwani in the lead roles.