Sonu Sood has walked out of Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi owing to his professional commitment towards Simmba. But Kangana Ranaut, the leading lady of the film, has claimed that he left the movie as he “refused to work under a woman director”.
With Krish being busy with his other film, Ranaut has stepped in to direct the patchwork of Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, which tells the story of warrior queen Laxmibai.
Sood, who plays a grey character in Rohit Shetty’s Simmba, has grown a beard for his part and is busy shooting the film. But the actor was supposed to have been clean shaven like a warrior in Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi, backed by Zee Studios and producer Kamal Jain.
It was reported that the makers of Manikarnika will tweak the script of the historical biopic because of his new looks for the film Simmba. But the plan didn’t work.
“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,” Sood’s spokesperson said in a statement.
Ranaut has claimed that Sood “didn’t even give us tentative dates to match combinations with other actors”.
“He refused to meet me... He refused to work under a woman director. Even though the team suggested that they have full faith in me, it seems, Sonu had neither dates nor faith,” Ranaut said.
The actress also said that Sood decided to incorporate a few kushti (wrestling) scenes that were never in the script.
“He wanted the producers to retain the kushti portions as he made the body for it for four months. How did I know that is happening behind my back? When writers saw the film, they said they don’t want it,” she said.
According to a source close to Sood, a major reason behind his exit from the film is Ranaut’s unprofessional attitude and false claims.
“Sonu has never had any problems with anyone in his almost two decade-long career. Sonu has previously worked with the woman filmmaker, Farah Khan. Also, Kangana claims that Sonu had shot the kushti scene behind her back, but surprisingly the director has to be present on the set to shoot a film and not just the actor,” added the source.
Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi is slated to release in India on January 25.
Producer Kamal Jain said: “Our team is totally focused and dedicated to finish the patchwork shoot to complete the film on time as our release date of January 25 is set in stone. The post-production and VFX is going on in full swing.”
Jain also expressed his wish to work with Sonu again.
“With a heavy heart, we have mutually decided to part ways due to his date unavailability. He is a thorough professional. I would love to work with him again,” he said.