Mumbai High Court to decide on RANGOON's controversy today

February 20, 2017 11:50:46 AM IST
By Glamsham Editorial
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Some fear for the Fearless Nadia! Vishal Bhardwaj's ambitious period epic RANGOON starring Shahid Kapoor, Kangana Ranaut and Saif Ali Khan is in legal soup. Mumbai High Court will give its judgment today on the alleged copyright infringement suit file by production company Wadia Movietone Pvt. Ltd.


According to reports, Roy Wadia – grandson of the pioneer JBH Wadia who brought the concept of stunt actresses in India during the mid-30's and introduced the cult Fearless Nadia has claimed that Kangana Ranaut's character Julia has been inspired from Australian actress Mary Evans who is known as Fearless Nadia.
Roy Wadia claims that his firm holds the sole rights to the scripts, posters and publicity material of Fearless Nadia films which has been produced by his firm Wadia Movietone Pvt. Ltd.

The commercial suit also claims that the makers have infringed on the Fearless Nadia's copyrighted character for Kangana's Julia that also includes her catchphrase, costume and poses. According to Wadia, Nadia was known to use the catchphrase ‘Bloody Hell'. Wadia has alleged that the makers are using Fearless Nadia's franchise to capitalize on its popularity.

According to Wadia, the story started a decade ago in 2006, Roy claims that he had approached Ronnie Screwvala of UTV to make a film on Fearless Nadia. They had a meeting but things did not work out between them. Soon after that, news regarding Vishal Bhardwaj planning a period drama on same lines for UTV started circulating.

However, Wadia claims that UTV and Vishal gave him the assurance that this particular period drama is not inspired by Fearless Nadia films. Back then, the film was titled Julia and it was reported that the film was shelved. In the year 2008, Roy Wadia had signed an agreement with a German firm that it could use all copyrighted material on Fearless Nadia to make a film on her.
After seven years, Wadia came to know that a film named RANGOON was being made that had a central character named Julia who happens to be a feisty stuntwoman just like Nadia. Wadia had informed the makers that his firm had given rights to a German firm to make movies on Fearless Nadia and if Vishal and team went ahead with RANGOON they could end up in a legal soup.

Siddharth Roy Kapur who took charge of UTV which is now called Disney UTV assured Wadia and the German firm that the film wouldn't be made.

Wadia claims the assurance continued and during the filming of RANGOON in 2016, Wadia claims that Vishal assured him that his film was more of a period drama cum love story set in the backdrop of World War II and had nothing to do with Nadia's life. But, Wadia saw the promos of film this year and realized that Kangana's character Julia was indeed inspired from the life of Fearless Nadia.

The hearing of the above case will be held at Mumbai High Court today.