'Was clear that I want him as an actor': Shailendra Singh reveals why Amitabh Bachchan's Shoebite never got released
New Delhi | Jagran Entertainment Desk: Shoebite, a movie which was directed by Shoojit Sircar and starred Amitabh Bachchan, never got released. However, the film’s original producer Shailendra Singh has now come out and spoke about the internal controversy of the shelved film 'Shoebite'.
In an interview with news agency IANS, he claimed that the story was initially his idea, revealing that he wanted to cast Amitabh Bachchan as the story demanded an old man with strong character and Big B also agreed to him.
He even introduced Shoojit to Big B as he was to direct the film. But later an official from Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Limited came to him saying "Mr. Bachchan wants to co-produce the film" to which the producer said "no".
“I wrote a story of an old man called Jonney D’Souza and how he sets out a journey to meet his bedridden wife and walks mile after mile. The whole incident happened around 13 years ago. After writing the story I went and narrated the story to Amitabh Bachchan because I wanted to cast him. He agreed to do the film and in the month of October — it was Dussehra — I paid the signing amount of 1 crore and signed him as the lead actor of the film. Meanwhile, I also introduced Shoojit to Mr. Bachchan as he was to direct the film. I knew Shoojit as the debutant film director of ‘Yahaan’ that our Percept Picture Company had produced,” Singh told IANS.
“The same year on December 31, an official from Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Limited came to me, saying that Mr. Bachchan was interested to co-produce the film. I was clear that I want him as an actor and not as a producer. So I said ‘no’ to the offer. Meanwhile, I got to know that Shoojit had become the blue-eyed boy of Mr. Bachchan and they were shooting a lot of ad films et cetera,” Singh added.
Shailendra Singh further stated: “Later, I was called for a meeting in which I was told that my story is similar to ‘Labour Of Love’ by M. Night Shyamalan. I was given a condition that if I cannot get a NOC from Shyamalan, then Mr. Bachchan would not agree to do the film. I asked for some time because Shyamalan is a Hollywood producer and I had to do a lot of paperwork.”
Singh claimed that before his script went to another producer, they went across the country to do location search and other research work, adding that when Shoojit went to Ronnie, they changed the name of the film and called it ‘Shoebite’.
“If Mr. Bachchan brought to my notice that the script is similar to that of Mr. Shyamalan’ s, how come he, along with my director and my script, goes to another producer and makes the film? That is why the film is stuck! We had an injunction to the film, we went to the Court because rightfully the script belongs to me (as intellectual property), and also whatever happened to me was ethically wrong. It was a clear betrayal,” Singh noted.
Now that Singh has finally spoken about his stolen story, it's obvious that he wants this film to be seen by people on the big screen. “I am ready to buy back the film at a depreciated price because it’s been a decade now. The film deserves to be released because it is a good story. When I see those tweets on social media where people are saying how the film should be released and it hasn’t been, it hurts! No one knows the real story behind the unreleased film. I will get all the NOCs that are required to release the film. But the world should know that it is originally my film and what exactly happened to the film,” Shailendra Singh replied.
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma