Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran will be released on May 4, producers John Abraham Entertainment asserted on Tuesday. Directed by Abhishek Sharma, and featuring John Abraham, Diana Penty and Boman Irani, the film is based on the nuclear tests conducted in Pokhran in 1998.
Parmanu was scheduled to be released on December 8, 2017, but was rescheduled to February 23, 2018. The release was pushed again and the film was due on April 6, but will be delayed due to a dispute between co-producers John Abraham Entertainment and KriArj Entertainment, founded by Prernaa Arora and Arjun N Kapoor.
The new release date puts the movie in competition with Umesh Shukla’s 102 Not Out, starring Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor.
A statement issued on Monday by JA Entertainment to IANS attests that the production house had legally terminated its contract with KriArj citing, among other issues, non-payment. “KriArj has committed material breaches which left us with no choice but to terminate in the interest of the film,” the statement read. “We would like to state that this extreme step has been taken by us after days of trying to resolve the issues at hand in the best interest of the release of the film.”
The statement came a day after KriArj alleged that termination of the agreement between the two producers was “illegal and invalid”. Actor-producer John Abraham told Mumbai Mirror that KriArj announced the movie’s release date thrice without his company’s consent. “We had to move each time because delay in payments led to delay in post-production but how do you explain that to someone who does not understand the process of film-making and asks what is pre and post-production? I have self-funded the entire post-production and with their money, when the cheques came in after several reminders, without compromising on quality,” he said.
Prernaa Arora countered that the budget of Rs 35 crores demanded by Abraham would have made the film commercially unviable. “Viacom 18 and others had pegged it at Rs 28-30 crore given the subject and that it didn’t have any stars except John,” Arora told Mumbai Mirror. “Of the Rs 35 crore, we have already paid him Rs 30 crore according to the shooting schedule and only Rs 5 crore remains, of which Rs 3 crore will be paid on delivery. We have been negotiating with him to forgo Rs 2 crore in deference to the excessively high budget and the production delay.”