Premkumar, Maruthupandian on 96 Movie Plagiarism Charges

PUBLISHED DATE: 01/Nov/2018

Premkumar, Maruthupandian on 96 Movie Plagiarism Charges

Directors Premkumar and Maruthupandian who have been named in the plagiarizing the story of 96 The Film held a press meet today to put forth their stance on the same. It all began when an associate director of Bharathi Raja named Suresh claimed that Vijay Sethupathi, Trisha starrer 96 was based on a story of his own script 92 and that he had narrated it to director Maruthupandian in 2014, who incidentally was also thanked in the credits of 96.
 
Suresh further claimed that he had a phone meeting with Prem Kumar, as he wanted to make the film with Vijay Sethupathi and that Prem Kumar asked him to wait for 6 months then. Addressing the same, the mentioned directors were seen making the following statements at the press meet:

Prem Kumar:
 
  • "..The first accusation came right after the film was a hit. The second came right after the film's Telugu remake rights were acquired. But none of the ones who accused me have submitted their script as proof..."

 

  • "..We have been publicizing the film as 96 movie since 2016. They should have questioned the authenticity of the script back then, instead of complaining now after the film's success..." (Suresh had claimed that since 96 was initially promoted as a 'road movie' (poster reference here), he did not have an inkling that it could be his story.)

 

  • If they are claiming that 90 percent is the story including the dialogues are same, they must have definitely written a script. Where is it? (Suresh has said that he has details of the script like story development, dialogues, etc in his mail with the corresponding date over the years.)

 

Maruthu Pandian

  • "..Suresh's story was based on his life, but by the time I met Prem Kumar for the story discussion, he had the bound script with him. Even after watching 96 movie, I felt both the scripts are entirely different.."

 

  • "..Despite all the clarifications from my side, Suresh went ahead and gave interviews saying that I had told Prem Kumar everything, except the opening song." (This is in response to Suresh's claim that his mentor Bharathi Raja and him confronted Maruthu Pandian about the story leak. Suresh had said, “That Maruthu Pandian was involved in the story discussions of 96 tells me all I need to know.”)

 

Showing solidarity for these two directors at the press meet were Balaji Tharaneetharan, Thiyagaraja Kumaraja and Premkumar's AD from the movie.

Since Suresh's script 92 is claimed to be not registered with the writers' association, Balaji Tharaneetharan said, "Even if they hadn't registered the script, let them show their copy. We'll know the truth by comparing both the scripts. They can't just show a couple of location stills as proof."

Thiyagaraja Kumaraja added, "Maruthupandian is a director himself. Why would he 'steal' the script and give it to Prem Kumar? Had it been the case, he himself could've directed the film."
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//Update Nov 14

On Monday, Suresh came out to media and showed the screenshots of over 50 emails that he sent during the year 2014. “I have around 2,000 emails, each detailing about the requisites and scenes of my story. I have mentioned in a mail about using Yamunai Aatrile from Thalapathy, Kannan Vandhu Paadugindraan and another song from Avadharam. These are the similarities that are obvious between both the scripts.


Suresh also pointed to a character Charumathi (the name is only mentioned and talked about in 96) and said, “I have sent a mail regarding this Charumathi and her characterisation as well." Suresh also showed a lot of location photos and some storyboard pictures.

 

He also pointed out that he was going for trial by media since neither the TFPC nor the writers' association had launched any investigation on the issue. 

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