Jayalalithaa biopic: Madras High Court issues notice to filmmakers

HC issued notices against director Gowtham Vasudev Menon and others

Was Jayalalithaa's Poes Garden residence attached by IT department? [File] J. Jayalalithaa's Poes Garden residence was her emotional retreat | PTI

The Madras High Court on Tuesday issued a notice to director Gowtham Vasudev Menon and others on a plea opposing their proposed bilingual biopic on the late Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa.

Justice K. Kalyanasundaram sought the response of Menon and filmmakers Vishnu Vardhan Induri and A L Vijay when an application arising out of a suit filed by Jayalalithaa's niece Deepa Jayakumar came up for hearing. After he was informed that the three have already filed a caveat, the judge ordered that they be served the case papers by Deepa and posted the matter to November 12 for further hearing.

Deepa, who submitted that she was a legal heir of the late AIADMK supremo, has sought to restrain the filmmakers from going ahead with their project without her consent.

She contended that the filmmakers did not have any legal right to produce the movie on the life and times of Jayalalithaa.

The biopic, titled Thalaivi (the leader) in Tamil and Jaya in Hindi, is set to be produced by them and Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut has been identified to reprise the role of the late Tamil Nadu chief minister, who died in December 2016, she submitted.

In her application, Deepa further claimed the three do not have any legal right, power or authority to make to publish, exhibit publicly or privately film or any tele or web serial in respect of Jayalalithaa's life or that of any direct descendants without her consent.

Being a family member Jayalalithaa she was associated with important events in the late leader's life, Deepa apprehended that the filmmakers might portray the life of her aunt and that of her as well in their "own version", affecting her privacy. To safeguard the personality rights of the late chief minister, protect her own privacy and that of her family, it was absolutely necessary to restrain the makers of the biopic from going ahead, without getting her approval for the storyline and the script, Deepa said in her plea.

The shoot for the film is reportedly all set to take off and the movie is expected to release next year.