MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, the biopic that has been made on the life of the incumbent India limited-overs cricket captain, MS Dhoni, has been a brewing topic of discussion amongst the cricketing galleries of the country. Every other day, revelations are being made, and people have been inquisitive about knowing what the movie has in store for them even before the slated release date of September 30.
To add to the already brimming list of insights about the movie, media reports have revealed that the cricketer was paid 45 crores by the movie producers in order to obtain the rights to make a movie on his life. Apart from Dhoni, his manager, Arun Pandey, who is also a co-producer of the film was also reported to have received Rs. 5 crores.
A whopping amount
“Dhoni was given Rs 45 crore for the movie-making rights to his life and access to personal information, documents and pictures, plus Dhoni’s availability for marketing and promotion of the film,” the source said.
“In contrast, Sushant Singh Rajput was paid Rs 2 crore to play Dhoni. In fact, Dhoni’s business manager Arun Pandey, who is also a co-producer of the film, received much more money than Sushant. Pandey got Rs 5 crore.”
If this report indeed turns out to be true, it will go on to negate the cricketer’s assertion that the movie has not been made to glorify him. That’s not all, however. The report also states that the satellite rights to the movie were sold for Rs. 55 crores. In addition to that, the film’s international remake rights have also been sold to a foreign production house for Rs. 10 crores.
“The satellite rights of Dhoni: The Untold Story have just been sold for Rs 55 crore which is Rs 5 crores more than what a Salman Khan starrer gets for satellite. Another Rs 20 crore has been recovered through various on-screen endorsements by Sushant Singh Rajput of products that Dhoni endorses.
“The music rights of the film have been sold at Rs 5 crore. And the overseas distribution rights have gone for Rs 10 crore.”
The movie is also slated to be remade in English, for which the aforementioned rights have been secured. “A Hollywood studio has bought the remake rights of Dhoni: The Untold Story from producer Neeraj Pandey and Fox Star Studios for Rs 10 crore. The film will be remade in English now.”
“The Hindi version has already been dubbed in three other languages, Tamil, Telugu and Marathi. No matter how you look at it, it’s a win-win project for the makers,” the source added.
‘BCCI’ and not Dhoni received 40 crores?
However, the more we delve into the intricacies of anything and everything related to the movie, the more we realise that there is not one but many reports doing rounds in the media about exactly how much the 35-year-old Indian captain got paid for the biopic.
In a separate report, published in the Times of India, it has been stated that Fox Star Studios, the production house of the movie, has paid an amount of Rs. 40 crores to the BCCI in order to receive the original clippings of Dhoni hitting the fabled six to win India the 2011 World Cup, as well as, those from other prominent innings played by the cricketer.
As the trailers have revealed, the movie watchers would get to see an exact replica of some of the cricketer’s most extraordinary moments from the cricket field, but only with Sushant Singh Rajput, the male lead of the movie, present in those scenes instead of the cricketer himself.
Questions, therefore, were raised about the clips that have been present in the trailers, that wandered around the amount paid to the BCCI – if anything was paid at all – and also whether it was just the face of the cricketer that was replaced with Rajput’s in some of the shots, while the rest of the stuff shown on-screen remained the same as it was in those clippings.
The movie’s director, Neeraj Pandey, refused to answer any of these questions, but a BCCI spokesperson divulged that the rights to the said cricket matches were indeed secured by the filmmakers. However, the spokesperson too refrained from revealing the transaction amount.