The war between John Abraham's production house JA Entertainment and KriArj Entertainment over the movie Parmanu has intensified big time. John and KriArj Entertainment's co-owner Prernaa Arora have leveled some serious allegations against each other.
After announcing that JA Entertainment had backed out of its contract with KriArj Entertainment, which was supposed to handle the release of Parmanu, John spoke in detail about the alleged harassment he had been facing from the other party over payment delay.
"They announced the release date thrice without our consent. We had to move each time because a delay in payments led to a 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?" John told Mumbai Mirror.
"I have self-funded the entire post-production and with their money, when the cheques came in after several reminders, without compromising on quality. I am still in the process of paying off vendors and any parties who have an agreement with KriArj," he added.
The actor further said authorities from KriArj Entertainment have been delaying payments by giving wrong Unique Transaction References.
However, Prernaa had a different story to tell. She said John has "no experience" in film production, which caused problems.
"John really liked the story of Parmanu that Abhishek pitched and agreed to line-produce the film. Little did I know then that it was Shoojit Sircar's company that had line-produced Vicky Donor and Madras Café," she told the publication.
"John had no experience in the field and had never done an acquisition before. He insisted on announcing the project in a hurry even after knowing that Ashutosh Gowariker, Shoojit and Excel Entertainment were planning films on the same subject," she added.
John countered Prernaa's remarks, saying while he had informed Shoojit first about the film Parmanu, Ashutosh himself decided to shelve the film when he came to know about John's plans.
"These people are traders who came into the business with a lot of money that has now whittled off because they may have over-committed or spread themselves too thin. Our film is ready for delivery, but I am waiting for two payments that have not come through because I have lost all faith and trust in the other party," said John.
"I don't think they even know how to position or market the film as they don't have the knowledge or the intent and so I want to keep control. Parmanu is my film and going by the reactions of target groups we showed it to, it's turned out really well and I'm very confident of it," he added.
Calling the budget of Rs 35 crore too high, Prernaa said her team has already paid Rs 30 crore to John, and if he decides to release Parmanu on his own, he will have to pay back the amount to them.
"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. Also, he has charged line-production fees and not even delivered on an item song as promised. He is miffed about that," the daily quoted her as saying.
But John had different figures to offer. "I have been paid Rs 29.35 crore so far. I was asked if they could settle Rs 3.50 crore on delivery, so I obliged. For the balance, I have been haggling for the last two-three months with no assurance that I will get my money," said John.
"I have not seen any third party agreement but she has been claiming that Zee Studio paid her Rs 27 crore for the satellite, digital and music rights and another partner, Kaita, [paid] another Rs 5.50 crore. I have also learned that she has taken money from Vashu Bhagnani for Parmanu. If she has received Rs 32.50 crore for the film already, why is she not giving me my money?" he asked.
Regarding the item song, John said the idea was dropped down after KriArj Entertainment failed to pay for the song from the print and publicity budget.
"For me, nothing is more important than my honesty and credibility and that of my production house. I have never faced such a situation before as a producer or an actor but I can fight my own battles. I can go broke but I won't cheat anyone. They are desperate to settle the matter out of court but I want the law to take its course," John said, adding that he has decided to release Parmanu on May 4.