Two days after its trailer release, a hiccup for Hichki Image: YouTube/YRF
A few months ago, Apurva Asrani pretty much waged a war against Kangana Ranaut (and in turn, Hansal Mehta) claiming that he wasn't given due credit for his contribution to Simran. Even though he conceptualised the story, he alleged that Kangy walked away with the credit. Seems like another Queen's comeback is marred by a similar incident.
Nishant Kaushik, a Melbourne-based writer, took to Twitter on Wednesday, ranting about how Rani Mukerji's comeback film Hichki has been plagiarised. "I watched the trailer of Hichki, which served as a rude reminder of how easy it is to treat writers like trash," he tweeted. His rants soon went viral.
Landing in India this morning, I watched the trailer of #Hichki which served as a rude reminder of how easy it is to treat writers like trash. I will rant in this short thread after I have collected my composure.— Nishant Kaushik (@nofreecopies) December 20, 2017
However, Siddharth P Malhotra, the director of Hichki, has now issued a statement rubbishing Nishant's claims, calling them "baseless". In the statement, Siddharth explains that Hichki was going to be a Front Of The Class spin-off and everyone who contributed to the screenplay were duly credited.
The official statement from Yash Raj Films, read, "I had acquired the rights to make Front of the Class as a Hindi motion picture in 2013. Nishant Kaushik’s claims are baseless. He was contacted through Exceed Entertainment and I haven’t even met him once. We were looking for writers who could come up with a take on the Front of the Class. We had approached several writers including Nishant. He was given a brief for the film and the story and slant he came up with, was not what we were looking for. So, we did not proceed with him and Exceed was informed about my decision immediately. This was 2015. Several prominent writers like Amole Gupte, Abbas Tyrewala have worked on the story of Hichki and we have obtained NOC’s from them and I thank each one of them for being the creative contributors of Hichki. We have credited all the writers who have worked in our film. So, it is ridiculous that we will not give credit to anyone in particular who has worked hard and contributed for Hichki."
Nishant, through an elaborate Twitter thread, revealed that Hichki (at least whatever he could deduce from the trailer) was strikingly similar to a draft he had submitted close to two-and-a-half years ago. He never heard back from Siddharth, and assumed the project had been shelved.
Nishant, however, doesn't claim that the story is entirely his. He only alleged that he should have been acknowledged for his contribution.