Stories of reputed directors getting ‘inspired’ by newcomers and then completely forgetting about them abound in Bollywood. And this time it involves Ram Gopal Varma and his upcoming film Amitabh Bachchan-Sanjay Dutt-starrer Department.
A screenplay-script writer has filed a police complaint of fraud against Ram Gopal Varma on May 7 for not paying him his dues for the film. The writer, Danish Raza says that around June-July 2010, one Neeraj Sharma from Ramu’s office contacted him to write screenplay of Department. “I met them, they looked at some of my scripts, liked my work and asked me to start work on the film,” says Danish. He started with the draft of the story and after many meetings sent the first draft on July 19, 2010, “which was okayed”.
“I further started work on the screenplay… Ramu worked on some scenes and we had a discussion like the normal creative process. My fee was fixed but all along, I kept asking for the contract. But they kept dilly-dallying. As a result, I stopped work and they sent me a soft copy of the contract via mail. Now I felt that they will sign the contract and I kept waiting for the hard copy which never happened and they stopped taking my calls,” says Danish.
In Feb 2011, the writer says, Neeraj told him that Department was shelved due to fund issues and that Ramu has got busy with his next project, Not A Love Story. “I stopped pursuing for my payment since I felt it was now futile and I left for Delhi for my other project. But later some time I saw that the promos and stills of the movie were out. I came back to Mumbai and filed a police complaint on May 7,” says Danish. “I have got all the evidence, copies of all the mails exchanged and contract mails they sent me. Then I have also got the hard copy of the script with corrections in Ramu’s handwriting,” the writer added. The contract is under Dream Force Enterprise. When contacted, Ramu claims that he has never heard of this writer. “I am busy mixing these days a I don’t have the memory of coming across any such person. I meet at least five writers everyday. I have no idea, my office deals with all this.”Amitabh Bachchan Department Not A Love Story Ram Gopal Varma Sanjay Dutt