Hollywood’s increased alertness against plagiarism has landed one of Bollywood’s top studios in hot water. The late BR Chopra’s BR Films has got a Rs 7 crore lawsuit from 20th Century Fox for allegedly lifting the plot of My Cousin Vinny to make Banda Yeh Bindaas Hai. This is the biggest legal action taken by the West against copycat filmmaking in India.
The original starred Joe Pesci as Vinny and Marisa Tomei as his girlfriend. The alleged remake has Govinda, Sushmita Sen and Tabu in the cast. However, the film has now hit a hurdle with Fox moving the Bombay High Court against BR Films. The case comes up for hearing on May 7.
Last year, Warner Bros filed a case against Mumbai-based Mirchi Movies for their film Hari Puttar - A Comedy of Terrors, but lost. More recently, Warner issued a legal notice against “certain parties” producing a film based on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. “The rumours are that Vipul Shah is making a film,” Warner’s lawyer Chander Lall was quoted as saying in the media.
In the current case, 20th Century Fox contends that BR Films had sought permission to make a film based on My Cousin Vinny. Although the studio had given its nod, it had not authorised a complete Hindi remake. But after looking at the Hindi script, the studio found it was ‘a substantial reproduction’, says the complaint. Filmmaker Ravi Chopra replies he has made an original film with different characters, treatment and backdrops by Indianising the idea of My Cousin Vinny within the permissible limits.