An impending face-off between producer Ratan Jain and director Priyadarshan threatens to get ugly. It also brings up the age-old debate on who's the boss in the filmmaking unit -- the producer or the director.
Seasoned director Priyadarshan is not amused with producer Jain's decision to put an item song in Tezz. While the former feels the item song has no place in the film, Jain thinks Mallika Sherawat would add a tadka of titillation to Tezz.
We've heard of directors' end-products being taken over by the producer. It happened with Rahul Rawail when he directed Love Story in 1981 to launch Kumar Gaurav. So incensed was Rawail by producer Rajendra Kumar's last-minute interventions and re-editing that he opted to have his name struck off the credit titles of Love Story.
One doesn't know if the prolific Priyadarshan, who has over 80 films in Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu to his credit, would finally have his name struck off the credits of the thriller Tezz. But Jain's post-production intervention in the film has not been a thrilling experience for the director.
In fact, Jain's decision to replace Priyan's choice Sameera Reddy with Mallika Sherawat for the item song has come as a bolt from a blue for the National-award winning director.
Says a close friend of Priyadarshan, "Priyan was not even informed about Sameera being replaced by Mallika Sherawat. He had to read about it. How can Mallika dance to a song that is meant for a character in the film? Sameera plays a club dancer and the song is meant to be filmed on her. How can a dancer from the outside be brought in?"
Apparently, Ratan Jain took a unilateral decision on the item song without bothering to consult the director.
The new Tezz incident serves as a rude reminder of what Priyadarshan went through some years ago when during the release of his comedy Hera Pheri producer Feroze Nadiadwala decided to shoot two additional songs with Akshay Kumar without the director's consent or knowledge.
Says Priyan's friend, "Ratan Jain has neither asked Priyan about Mallika's item song nor would Priyan have agreed to it if asked. The director is now looking at his options and how far his creativity can be tampered with."
When asked about the incident Priyadarshan said, "I don't know where and how Mallika Sherawat came into the picture and I don't want to talk about it."
Ratan Jain remained unavailable for comment.