Filmmaker Bejoy Nambiar's bilingual film David was to feature Neil Nitin Mukesh in both Hindi and Tamil versions, but the actor would now be seen only in Hindi.
"There are three stories in David, one set in London in 1975 in black-and-white featuring Neil as a gangster. The second story features the Speedy Singhs actor Vinay Virmani in Hindi and Jeeva in Tamil as the respective protagonist of a plot set in Mumbai in 1999," said a source.
"And the third is a story set in Goa in 2010, featuring Tamil superstar Vikram with Tabu in both Hindi and Tamil. Neil's part was supposed to be common to both Hindi and Tamil. But now Neil's section has been scrapped from the Tamil version," the source added.
Nambiar doesn't deny these developments.
"It is true a decision has been taken to scrap Neil's story from the Tamil version of David. Now, the Tamil version of the film is shorter than the Hindi version. While the Hindi version would finally be approximately two hours and 30 minutes long the Tamil version is only two hours and 10 minutes long," the filmmaker said.
Explaining the "creative decision" to keep Neil out, Nambiar said, "Neil was really looking forward to his Tamil debut and he had worked hard on it. He has been a pillar of strength throughout the making of the film. But it can't be helped."
"There are certain practical considerations. Now only the stories featuring Vikram and Jeeva are part of the Tamil version. Rather than think that Neil has been kept out of the Tamil version, I'd think Neil is exclusive to the Hindi version," he added.
However, Neil is completely fine with the decision.
" 'David' is a sync-sound film. We had two options. Either I dub later in Tamil and thereby kill some of the impact of the original dialogues, or we edit my story out of the Tamil version," he said.
"It was a creative decision taken by my producers, my director and me to edit out my story from the Tamil. So while the Tamil version would have two stories featuring Vikram and Jeeva, the Hindi version will have Vikram, Vinay Virmani and me in three stories. I am so looking forward to 'David'. Bejoy Nambiar is a bloody incredible director. I consider him the Quentin Tarantino of our cinema," he added.