The arrest of actor Dileep over the abduction and assault of an actress has left the Malayalam film industry shell-shocked, especially directors and producers of his finished and ongoing projects.
According to the industry sources, the arrest of Dileep, whose star-value is said to be just behind superstars Mohanlal and Mammootty, would cost Mollywood a massive loss of Rs 50-60 crore.
Release of "Ramaleela", one of his big-budget movies directed by debutant Arun Gopi, has been postponed.
Though producer Tomichan Mulakupadam said the movie would be released on July 21, the chances are less for it to hit the theatres on the announced date in view of widspread protests against the actor.
The shooting of "Kammarasambhavam", helmed by Ratheesh Ambatt, and 3D movie, "Professor Dinkan" is also halfway through.
"Saddam Sivan" and "Njarana Mon" are the other projects in the pipeline.
Senior director of Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA), Vinayan has described the arrest as a "scar on Malayalam cinema".
Bina Paul, senior editor and leader of Women in Cinema Collective, an outfit of women in Malayalam cinema, said they were "extremely pained" that a person from the industry was involved in the incident.
"But we believe that justice has to be served at any cost (to the victim)," she said.
Soon after the arrest, actress Remya Nambeesan, a close friend of the victim, said "I am happy that justice has prevailed."
Script writer Deedi Damodaran, director Vidhu Vincent and dubbing artiste Bhagyalakshmi also expressed shock at the recent developments and reinstated their solidarity with the victim.
A mimicry artist, Dileep, who had entered the film industry as an assitant director over two decades ago, enjoyed an unquestionable position in all areas of cinema, including production and distribution, besides acting.
He held key positions in all major outifts connected to Malayalam cinema.
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