Mamangam was filmmaker Sanjeev Pillai’s brainchild. However, he was ousted halfway through the film following his bitter fallout with producer Venu Kunnappilly. Addressing a question on Wednesday, the makers said that firing Sanjeev from the project was an “unpleasant experience.”
With Malayalam superstar Mammootty in the lead role, Mamangam went on the floors last year amid a lot of hype. Sanjeev, who had also written the screenplay for the film, was entrusted with directing the film. However, after completing the first schedule, the deal between Sanjeev and Venu turned sour. Venu was said to be very unhappy with the pace that Sanjeev was shooting the film.
The fallout between them was public and bitter. The issue was taken to police, courts and associations of the Malayalam film industry.
“It was done in the interest of the film. Nobody does it happily. It is not a pleasant thing to do. We were left with no option but to take that step. He (Sanjeev) went to courts, and courts upheld that whatever we did was right, including Kerala High Court. So, that’s been an unpleasant experience,” Vivek Ramadevan, Executive Producer of Mamangam, told indianexpress.com.
After firing Sanjeev Pillai’ from the project, M Padmakumar of Joseph fame was brought in as the film’s new director. And actor-director Shanker Ramakrishnan was hired to write the screenplay by adapting Sanjeev’s story. And the entire film was shot from scratch.
“We have not retained anything from whatever (Sanjeev had done), it is a completely new film,” Vivek said.
The original Malayalam film will release in multiple languages, including Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. The film’s team is currently busy completing the formalities to get approval from the censor board for all the versions.
“Now we are in the phase where that (controversy around Sanjeev’s ouster) is behind us, and we are looking positively to the future,” Vivek Ramadevan added.
Mamangam is set in the backdrop of 17th century and it narrates the legend of ‘Chavers’ (suicide warriors) of feudal Kerala and their bid to overthrow the Zamorin ruler. It also stars Unni Mukundan, Kaniha, Anu Sithara, Tarun Raj Arora, Prachi Tehlan, Sudev Nair, Suresh Krishna, Manikuttan and Siddique among others.
Mamangam is set to hit the screens on December 12.