A woman director has approached the Bombay High Court against an upcoming film “Mission Mangal” starring Akshay Kumar and Vidya Balan, claiming copyright infringement.
“Mission Mangal” is being touted as India’s first space film.
Radha Bharadwaj on Wednesday filed a suit seeking a stay on the production and release of the movie, which is about India’s 2014 Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), also known as Mangalyaan.
Earlier this month, actor Akshay Kumar had announced that he was jointly producing with Fox Star Studios and Cape of Good Films a movie titled “Mission Mangal” on the Mars mission.
The film will be directed by Jagan Shakti and its shoot will begin this month. Apart from Kumar and Balan in the lead roles, the movie will also star Sonakshi Sinha, Taapsee Pannu and others.
In her suit, Bharadwaj claims that the movie infringes on the copyright of her original screenplay titled ‘Space MOMs’.
According to the suit, Bharadwaj had given her screenplay to producer Atul Kasbekar in 2016. Kasbekar’s company signed a non-disclosure agreement that prohibited them from disclosing Bharadwaj’s project to anyone without her prior written consent.
In her suit, Bharadwaj said she later came to know that Kasbekar had showed the script to Balan.
Irked at this, Bharadwaj cancelled her agreement.
The suit claimed that Bharadwaj had registered her screenplay with the US Copyright Office in 2016 after the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) had notified her of its support for her movie and arranged for her to interview several of its engineers.
The suit is likely to come up for hearing in the due course of time.