‘Rangoon’ faces legal trouble for copyright infringement from Roy Wadia
The soon-to-release movie ‘Rangoon‘ helmed by Vishal Bhardwaj has landed itself in trouble over the character of Kangana Ranaut which is allegedly inspired by Fearless Nadia. Roy Wadia from Wadia Movietone Pvt. Ltd. has filed legal suit in Bombay High Court against the makers of the movie for copyright infringement.
The firm states that the character of Kangana which is called as Julia in the movie bears a striking resemblance to Fearless Nadia, an Australian stunt actress originally named as Mary Evans. The firm is the sole owner to the scripts, poster and other publicity material for Fearless Nadia films. They have accused the makers of copying the term ‘Bloody Hell’ for a song in the movie, as they state that the term was synonymous with Nadia. (ALSO READ: ‘Alvida’ song from ‘Rangoon’: The feebleness of love will stir your soul)
In 2006, Wadia had approached Ronnie Screwvala of UTV for a film on Fearless Nadia, but things did not materialise. Later on, he learnt from Vishal and UTV that the movie will be called as Julia, but then the project got shelved. In 2008, he signed an agreement with a German firm for the copyrighted material for Nadia. It was only seven years later, that he discovered that a movie by the name of ‘Rangoon’ is being made and it’s based on Nadia’s character.
He informed the makers that since the German firm held the copyright for the movie, it would land him in legal soup. But, Vishal told him that his movie is a love story set in the 1940s and was not inspired by Fearless Nadia. But, when the trailer of ‘Rangoon’ and the song ‘Bloody Hell’ was released, Wadia noticed similarities between Julia and Nadia.
A cast member who refused to be named spoke with a leading tabloid, “Kangana was advised to watch ‘Hunterwali’ [a famous 1935 Nadia stunt film], and the stylists told to reference her dressing for Kangana, who plays Julia. Some of the male characters also resemble those from Nadia’s life.”
A source close to the Wadias said, “Vishal was going to helm the original project planned by UTV Disney and it was to star German actress Franka Potente. But the project fell through because of casting problems. To the Wadias, it seems that ‘Rangoon’ is the same film now revived, for which they haven’t been consulted or credited. Roy divides his time between New York and Bangkok. In the second week of February, he flew down to Mumbai to discuss details of the case before taking a final decision on the matter.”