Big Brother is watching Bollywood! That’s the signal Hollywood studios are sending out to Bollywood production houses, to ensure that Indian filmmakers don’t get away with plagiarism. Sohail Maklai, the producer of the forthcoming film, Knock Out, learned this the hard way. Maklai was sent a notice by 20th Century Fox, because they felt that the Sanjay Dutt-Irrfan Khan starrer borrows from their Colin Farrell-thriller, Phone Booth. “Yes, we have received the notice. Our lawyers are handling it. But the similarity ends there,” defends Maklai.
Knock Out is the second film to be sent a notice on the grounds of copyright infringement, recently. Last week, Warner Bros demanded to see John Abraham-starrer Jhootha Hi Sahi to ascertain if it is a rip-off from their hit television sitcom, Friends. But, the film’s producer, Madhu Mantena, denies having arranged for a screening of the movie for Warner Bros representatives on October 10, as reported. “I have no intention of showing it [the movie] to Warner. It has nothing to do with Friends,” he asserts, adding that the film is second in Tyrewalla’s trilogy on friends and love, the first being Jaane Tu.. Ya Jaane Naa. “Jhootha Hi Sahi is as much a remake of Friends as Jaane Tu...,” he adds. While Knock Out opens on October 15, Jhootha Hi Sahi is set for an October 22 release.
Interestingly, Knock Out has been termed as Mani Shankar’s desi Phone Booth ever since it went on the floors. Reportedly, Irrfan Khan plays an investment banker who is trapped in a phone booth by a sniper. Farrell’s character, too, had no choice but to obey a sniper, played by Keifer Sutherland.
About a month ago, Subhash Ghai had an out-of-court settlement with Fox Studios, which reportedly claimed that Ghai’s film, Hello Darling, was copied from their Nine To Five. While officials at Fox’s Indian office refused to comment, it is clear that Hollywood won’t sit and munch on popcorn while their work is copied.
Satish Kaushik’s TV serial Karishma – The Miracle Of Destiny (Barbara Taylor Bradford’s novel, A Woman Of Substance)
David Dhawan’s Partner (Hitch)
Ravi Chopra’s Banda Yeh Bindaas Hai (My Cousin Vinny)
Kucky Kohli-Rajesh Bajaj’s Hari Puttar (Title of Harry Potter)