Bollywood production house B.R. Films has denied plagiarism allegations made by Hollywood studio Twentieth Century Fox for lifting the latter's film My Cousin Vinny for a Hindi spin-off Banda Yeh Bindaas Hai.
Fox has moved B.R. Films to court and is alleging plagiarism and copyrights violation. The Hollywood house has even sought Rs.7 crore (Rs.70 million) as damage charges and an injunction against the release of Banda Yeh Bindaas Hai.
Sanjay Bhutiani, CEO, B.R. Films has however denied all allegations saying that "they have made an original film".
"We (B.R. Films) believe in good business ethics and we have permission in writing from the legal team representing Fox from Los Angeles dating back to October 2007 (two years ago) so that we could Indianise the idea (of 'My Cousin Vinny') with different characters, treatments and backdrops within permissible limits, etc," Bhutiani told IANS over phone from Mumbai.
"We also shared our script with them (Fox) a couple of months ago, as they wanted to see it but they have come out with the lawsuit only when the film was ready to release. We are kind of blackmailed at this point of time," he added.
Clarifying the stand, filmmaker Ravi Chopra said in a statement Tuesday: "I am shocked to see that they (Fox) have been quiet on this for two years and have now picked up the matter. This is something one does not really expect from a reputed company like Twentieth Century Fox."
The matter will come up for hearing May 7 in Bombay High court after which a decision will be taken on the release of the film.
"BR Films is a brand and has a history of its own and we are going to defend the case. Every problem has a solution and the film will definitely release," said Bhutiani.
Starring Govinda, Sushmita Sen and Tabu in the lead, "Banda Yeh Bindaas Hai" was otherwise slated to release this summer but was postponed for a later release courtesy the Indian Premier League (IPL).