Bollywood film hits the screen despite court battle with Fox

2010-10-15 12:00

The producers of a Bollywood production accused of plagiarising a 2002 Hollywood hit have released the film despite an ongoing court battle with US studio Twentieth Century Fox.

Hindi film Knock Out, which follows a man held hostage in a telephone booth, has similarities with Fox’s 2002 production, Phone Booth, starring Colin Farrell.

Fox filed a lawsuit against AAP Entertainment and Sohail Maklai, the producers of Knock Out, alleging that the film’s story line and screenplay had been lifted.

Yesterday, a court in Mumbai, the home of Bollywood, lifted an injunction blocking the film’s release, but asked the producers to deposit 15 million rupees (R2.3 million) pending a further hearing, lawyers said.

AAP Entertainment and Maklai would also be required to furnish accounts of the film’s proceeds, Naik Paranjpe & Co, the law firm representing the producers, confirmed.

Fatema Nagree of Naik Paranjpe & Co said the date for the next hearing was still to be determined.

Early reviews of Knock Out, published in India, have noted similarities to both Phone Booth and the 2008 Hindi film A Wednesday.

Bollywood has a history of remaking Hollywood films, often with virtually identical plots, characters and even musical scores.
But with films now being released overseas and Hollywood studios signing tie-ups with their Indian counterparts, there has been a spate of warnings and court cases about plagiarism.

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