Herman Knippenberg, the Dutch diplomat who investigated Charles Sobhraj's case, has been roped in as consultant for the Sanjay Dutt starrer Charles & I, which the director insists is not based on the notorious criminal's life.
According to people close to the film Charles & I, Sanjay has been told not to speak about the character any more. "From the moment the director Prawaal Raman narrated the script to Sanjay, he has been charged. The actor has taken charge of the project so much so that when the original producers pulled out, Sanjay personally took on the responsibility for getting immediate replacement. However, the excitable actor has been asked not to mention Sobhraj anywhere," a source close to the project told IANS.
It looks like Faroukh Dhondy's novel "The Bikini Murders" is not the only target that Sobhraj has chosen for legal recourse.
Raman, Ram Gopal Varma's former associate, had to do some quick re-thinking after he received legal summons from Sobhraj's lawyers.
Confirming these developments, Raman said: "Yes, Charles Sobhraj has sued us. My lawyers have looked into it. In fact, Sanjay Dutt and I were dismayed by reports linking my film about an international criminal to Sobhraj. Let me clarify that my film titled Charles & I is not based on the life of Sobhraj."
So why the title Charles & I? "That's because my protagonist is named Charles and his story is told from the perspective of a retired cop who pursued the criminal all across the world." Sobhraj, 64, is presently in a Nepal, convicted for the murder of an American tourist in 1976.