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Mission Mangal runs into trouble after US-based filmmaker alleges plagiarism

Radha Bharadwaj has reportedly filed a lawsuit to halt production and release of the multi-starrer film.

Cast of Mission Mangal

Our Correspondent

The space wars are getting real in the Hindi film industry. After Akshay Kumar announced the multi-starrer project based on India's Mars mission, Mission Mangal, a lawsuit has been filed to halt the production and release of the film. US-based filmmaker Radha Bharadwaj has reportedly filed a case in a Mumbai court against the project. 

Mid-Day, a tabloid, quoted Bharadwaj as saying, "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 alleges that the story, based on India's 2014 Mars mission, infringes on the copyright of her original screenplay. She reportedly shared the script with Kasbekar and Ellipsis Entertainment back in 2016. 

However, reported Tanuj Garg of Ellipsis Entertainment clarifying that while the studio had been in touch with Bharadwaj, they had parted ways owing to creative differences. Garg also stated that Ellipsis Entertainment is not connected with Mission Mangal. 

The Mid-Day report also states that the filmmaker had registered her script with the United States Copyright office in 2016. She has also completed shooting for the film, titled Space MOMs, recently.

The report quoted Bharadwaj's lawyer Srishti Ojha, as saying, "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." 

The film, Mission Mangal, was announced on 5 November by Fox Star Studios and The Cape Of Good Films. The launch picture of the film featured actors Akshay Kumar and Sharman Joshi standing alongside actresses Vidya Balan, Taapsee Pannu, Sonakshi Sinha, Kirti Kulhari and Nithya Menon. 

The film will be directed by Jagan Shakti, who assisted R Balki on Cheeni Kum (2007).