In an unexpected turn of events, the highly successful movie 'Animal,' featuring Ranbir Kapoor, Rashmika Mandanna, Anil Kapoor, and Bobby Deol, directed by Sandeep Reddy Vanga, is facing legal challenges just days before its much-anticipated OTT release on Netflix. Cine 1 Studios Private Limited, claiming co-producer status, has filed a case against major producer T-Series, alleging a breach of their profit-sharing agreement, throwing the film's online release and the announced sequel, 'Animal Park,' into jeopardy.
The legal battle unfolded in the Delhi High Court, where Cine 1 Studios accused T-Series of failing to uphold clauses outlined in a 2019 Acquisition Agreement and an amendment agreement related to 'Animal.' The co-producer sought a stay on the Netflix release and challenged the announcement of the sequel, citing alleged breaches by T-Series.
Senior advocate Sandeep Sethi, representing Cine 1 Studios, argued that the production house had not received any information about the film's revenues, including box office sales, digital, and satellite rights. He claimed that Cine 1, entitled to a 35% share and intellectual property rights, had not received any payments despite a profit-sharing agreement. The crux of the allegations focused on the alleged non-disclosure of crucial financial details.
In response, T-Series' lawyer, senior advocate Amit Sibal, countered by stating that Cine 1 had no financial investment in the film. Presenting documents indicating an amended Acquisition Agreement from 2019, Sibal accused Cine 1 of concealing information and revealed that T-Series had indeed paid Rs 2.6 crore to Cine 1, a fact allegedly undisclosed by the co-producer.
During the court proceedings, Justice Sanjeev Narula questioned Cine 1's lawyer about the alleged payment of Rs 2.6 crore, to which the lawyer confessed his lack of awareness. The court set January 18 as the next date of hearing, instructing Cine 1 to ensure the presence of its authorized signatory, Murad Khetani, for further clarification.
The legal dispute adds a cloud of uncertainty to the OTT release of 'Animal,' scheduled for January 26 on Netflix. As the court proceedings unfold, it remains to be seen whether the case will impact the film's online debut and the subsequent release of 'Animal Park.' Despite being Ranbir Kapoor's biggest career hit, 'Animal' now faces challenges beyond the box office, entering the realm of legal complexities and contractual disputes.