The Madras High Court on Friday ordered actor Kamal Haasan and his production house, Rajkamal Films International, to file a reply by August 6 in connection with a plea seeking to stall the release of Vishwaroopam 2, PTI reported. The film is slated to release on August 10.

Pyramid Saimira Productions International approached the court for interim relief, claiming it had to recover Rs 5.44 crore from the actor. The petitioner said it paid to Haasan’s production house to produce a film, Marmayogi, in Tamil and Hindi, with an estimated budget of Rs 100 crore. A memorandum of understanding to this effect was signed with Raaj Kamal Films International on April 2, 2008. A total sum of Rs 10.9 crore was paid in two instalments as Haasan’s remuneration for acting, directing and writing the story, screenplay and dialogue. According to the petition, the actor acknowledged receiving the money in a confirmation letter dated September 25, 2008.

The plea further claimed that Haasan did not show any interest in starting the production and, instead, tried to release another film, Unnaipol Oruvan, by diverting the money paid to him. But the petitioner filed a recovery suit and stalled the movie. Later, the court allowed the film’s release after obtaining a bank guarantee from Haasan. The suit is in the trial stage, said the petitioner.

“On inquiries, we are given to understand that Kamal Haasan is heavily indebted to various creditors, having borrowed huge amounts from various persons to meet the production expenses of his forthcoming film, Vishwaroopam 2,” said the petition. “Since he is not able to repay any of the creditors, he is planning to release the film through Aascar Films so as to defeat, delay and defraud his creditors, including ourselves.”

In February, Haasan’s production company denied actor Gautami’s allegation that it owed her money for her work as a costume designer for Vishwaroopam and Dasavathaaram, reported The News Minute.