Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi is getting caught up in new controversies almost on a daily basis. First there were rumours of Kangana Ranaut taking over as the director of the film and now the news of Sonu Sood walking out of it. While Sonu's representative said that the actor disassociated himself from the period film owing to his prior commitment towards Rohit Shetty's Simmba, Kangana, the leading lady of the film, has claimed that he left the movie as he "refused to work under a woman director".
According to the spokesperson, Sonu, who is filming Rohit Shetty's Simmba right now, was recently asked to reshoot portions for Manikarnika by Kangana. The 45-year-old actor is sporting a beard for the Ranveer Singh-starrer, but for Manikarnika he was asked to go clean shaven. Sonu had asked the makers of the biopic to finish the reshoots after he completes his schedule for Simmba but things did not work out and he decided to quit the project.
Recently Bollywood Hungama had reported that Sonu had left the film due to the bossy nature and constant interference of Kangana. The portal stated, "Yes, Sonu has left the film. He is no longer a part of Manikarnika. And he has informed the film’s producers of his decision. He took a lot of crap from a person who feels she knows how to direct a film without any real qualification to do so. But finally, when Kangana Ranaut officially took over the direction, Sonu could take it no more. He quit the film.”
Taking the controversy forward Pinkvilla claimed that Kangana confirmed the news to them and further explained why Sonu left. The portal quoted Kangana as saying, "Sonu and I haven't met since the last shot with Krish (director) last year. He is busy filming Simmba. He couldn't give us tentative dates to match combinations with other actors. The producers showed him the film and the patchwork was narrated to him by the writers. The team suggested that they have full faith in me. But seems, Sonu had neither dates nor faith. He refused to meet me and vehemently denied to work under a woman director, which is kind of amusing because Sonu is a dear friend. "
When quizzed about the already shot portions she said, "None of the portions he has shot before will be used because he has spiked hair with gel in his hair (for Simmba). I have to shoot all of that anyway so it’s easy to get another actor on board. Who keeps spiked hair for a period film?""
She also went on to reveal that, "He himself wrote his scenes of Kushti which were never in the script. When writers saw the film they said they don't want it. Is it my fault? Am I writing the film? He wanted the producers to retain the kushti portions as he made the body for it for 4 months. How did I know that is happening behind my back."
Meanwhile, Sonu's spokesperson said in a statement, "Sonu has always been a thorough professional and honoured all his commitments. He had informed the makers of 'Manikarnika' about his dates and schedule well in advance. Inconveniencing the team of his current film to accommodate the demands of another are against his professional principles. Sonu has taken the higher road ahead and wishes the team of 'Manikarnika' all the best."
Manikarnika's producer Kamal Jain said Sonu and the film's team mutually decided to part ways due to date issues, stating, "I have utmost respect and love for Sonu and he is like family to us. With a heavy heart we have mutually decided to part ways due to his date unavailability. He is a thorough professional and have his dates committed to 'Simmba' which is also releasing in December. I would love to work with him in the future again."
If the reports are true, Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, which is slated to be released in January 2019 might be delayed further.