Akshay Kumar’s upcoming film Mission Mangal has landed in trouble even before going into production.
According to Mid-Day, US-based filmmaker Radha Bharadwaj filed a lawsuit against the film in Mumbai on Wednesday, alleging that it borrows from her screenplay that she shared with Atul Kasbekar’s Ellipsis Entertainment in 2016.
Akshay Kumar had announced the film’s cast on his Instagram on November 5. Based on the women engineers who were behind India's historic Mangalyaan Mars Mission in 2014, the film stars Akshay, Vidya Balan, Taapsee Pannu, Sharman Joshi, Sonakshi Sinha, Kirti Kulhari and Nithya Menen in important roles.
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Proud and excited to bring the story of India’s Mars Mission, #MissionMangal to you. Coincidentally the mission was launched on this very date, 5th Nov. 2013. Meet the team and do share your best wishes for our shubh mangal journey. Shoot begins soon 🙏🏻 @foxstarhindi @sharmanjoshi #KirtiKulhari @taapsee @balanvidya @aslisona @nithyamenen
Bharadwaj has accused Kasbekar of sharing her script with Balan despite a non-disclosure agreement. Incidentally, Balan is now doing Mission Mangal which is based on the same idea as Bhardwaj’s.
Notably, Bharadwaj recently finished shooting Space MOMs, her film on the same subject. Alleging that Mission Mangal’s production is being rushed to ruin her project’s prospects, she has demanded that its production and release be halted.
"I'll bet the details of the origin of this project were not known to Akshay Kumar, Fox Star or its US partners. But now that they know it, I ask them to act honourably. I have documentation going back to 2014 on my efforts to bring this story to screen," Bharadwaj told Mid-Day.
Her lawyer Srishti Ojha said, "There are hundreds of ways to tell the story of Mangalyaan, but Radha came up with the angle of focusing on the women engineers working on the mission."
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