Hichki: Writer accuses YRF of stealing his credit for Rani Mukerji’s comeback film, director responds
A writer who claims to have written the first draft for Rani Mukerji’s new film Hichki has posted a long ‘rant’ on Twitter in which he says he was unceremoniously booted off the project and had his credit taken away.bollywood Updated: Dec 20, 2017 21:12 IST
A writer who claims to have written the first draft for Rani Mukerji’s new film Hichki has posted a long ‘rant’ on Twitter in which he says he was unceremoniously booted off the project. The trailer for the comedy-drama was released on Tuesday.
Nishant Kaushik wrote that he was approached by director Sidharth P Malhotra with an idea for a story close to three years ago. Kaushik says he wrote a draft of the story - he attached screenshots of mails and messages as evidence - and submitted it to Malhotra. He said that after sending the draft, he never heard from the team of the film again.
“Does this mean Hichki is my story?” he asked, “NO.” But he did said that he felt he “was owed the courtesy of a response or acknowledgement” for his work.
Kaushik said that he sent numerous texts and mails asking about the radio silence, but got nothing in response. He said this incident reaffirmed the stories he had heard about how up-and-coming writers were treated in the industry. A similar situation transpired when writer Apurva Asrani alleged that star Kangana Ranaut had hijacked his script for the film Simran and had his credit removed.
The story and screenplay for Hichki has been credited to director Malhotra, Anckur Chaudhry, Ambar Hadap and Ganesh Pandit with dialogues credited to Chaudhry. Hichki is produced by Maneesh Sharma under Yash Raj Films. The film is scheduled for a February 23 release.
Read the entire thread here:
Landing in India this morning, I watched the trailer of #Hichki which served as a rude reminder of how easy it is to treat writers like trash. I will rant in this short thread after I have collected my composure.— Nishant Kaushik (@nofreecopies) December 20, 2017
In March 2015, director Siddharth Malhotra spoke to me about a story that needs to be written. I was excited, and thankful for being considered to take a stab at the opportunity. I mentioned I had a day job. I was told time is not a constraint.— Nishant Kaushik (@nofreecopies) December 20, 2017
Siddharth gave me a one-liner brief. I began working. Over a month, I developed characters, motives, plotlines, and a story synopsis. Despite being in Australia, opened all channels of comms to keep him abreast with updates. pic.twitter.com/sTNfHryRqq— Nishant Kaushik (@nofreecopies) December 20, 2017
After submitting the material over email, I waited. Dropped emails and texts. No response. This could have meant 2 things: 1) The project was not taking off. Or, 2) My work was not fit for purpose. I conceded with whichever of the two was true.— Nishant Kaushik (@nofreecopies) December 20, 2017
More than 2.5 years later, I watch the #Hichki trailer and notice a rather similar storyline, a protagonist with the same speech disorder I had described, and other nuances that I MAY NOT own all by myself, but are undoubtedly similar to the ones I portrayed.— Nishant Kaushik (@nofreecopies) December 20, 2017
Does this mean Hichki is my story? NO.— Nishant Kaushik (@nofreecopies) December 20, 2017
Does it mean I worked on it and was owed the courtesy of a response or acknowledgement of the effort I invested? HELL YES.
The fact that you abruptly cut off from the writer who put in months of hard work to deliver a story to you without a word of feedback, gratitude, or even a "regret to inform" message rankles me.— Nishant Kaushik (@nofreecopies) December 20, 2017
My written material, which has been nonchalantly consumed (and possibly forgotten), and all my communication with Siddharth Malhotra is saved on record. Happy to present evidence. But the question is what am I to expect of it?— Nishant Kaushik (@nofreecopies) December 20, 2017
For what should I expect of the person/s who did not so much as show courtesy to provide a line of correspondence to indicate what course my months of effort was going to take thereon?— Nishant Kaushik (@nofreecopies) December 20, 2017
In my mind, this episode just validates all the stories I have read of anon/little known writers making claims in media reports that their stories were shamelessly flicked into major motion pictures without giving them due credit.— Nishant Kaushik (@nofreecopies) December 20, 2017
#Hichki team, good luck to you. I am sure you will earn millions. I hope all the money you make is good enough to numb you, because if I were you, my conscience would be pricking me sharp. RANT ENDS.— Nishant Kaushik (@nofreecopies) December 20, 2017
Malhortra issued a statement through YRF on Wednesday:
I had acquired the rights to make Front of the Class as a Hindi motion picture in 2013. Nishant Kaushik’s claims are baseless. He was contacted through Exceed Entertainment and I haven’t even met him once. We were looking for writers who could come up with a take on the Front of the Class. We had approached several writers including Nishant. He was given a brief for the film and the story and slant he came up with, was not what we were looking for.
So, we did not proceed with him and Exceed was informed about my decision immediately. This was, 2015. Several prominent writers like Amole Gupte, Abbas Tyrewala have worked on the story of Hichki and we have obtained NOC’s from them and I thank each one of them for being the creative contributors of Hichki.
We have credited all the writers who have worked in our film. So, it is ridiculous that we will not give credit to anyone in particular who has worked hard and contributed for Hichki.
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