HYDERABAD, Telangana — Vijay-starrer Bigil is unlikely to make it to Amazon Prime Video this month as planned, as a Hyderabad civil court has issued an interim injunction order barring the digital release of the film. The film’s Telugu version, Whistle, will also not be available for digital release.
The film was supposed to premiere on Amazon Prime on December 13.
The court issued the order after Hyderabad-based filmmaker Nandi Chinni Kumar filed a lawsuit against the film’s director Atlee and actor Vijay, apart from the film’s producers, stating they have violated a copyright agreement which he had signed with slum football player Akhilesh Paul. Kumar had also petitioned the Telangana Cinema Writers Association in September this year citing “copyright infringement”. According to Kumar, the film Bigil, which was first named Thalapathy 63, has “striking similarities” with the life story of slum football player Akhilesh Paul. Kumar says he had acquired the “exclusive copyrights” of Paul’s biography in 2018.
Though the filmmaker had requested the court to issue an injunction on theatrical release and satellite release too, interim injunction was issued only on the digital release of the film. The order reads, “In the result the interim order granted and the respondent No. 8 (Amazon India/ Amazon Prime) is restrained from uploading and streaming the film Bigil/Whistle in YouTube or other modes of broadcasting system until further orders of court”.
The filmmakers will now have to approach the court and get an order in their favour before the film hits the small screen. Speaking to HuffPost India, Kumar, who had sent legal notices to Bigil’s cast and crew, said that he the filmmakers never tried to approach him.
“I had made a series of complaints and the makers of Bigil did not respond. I am happy to get the injunction,” Kumar said.
The filmmaker has also sued the makers of the Hindi film Jhund. He sent legal notices to director Nagraj Manjule, Amitabh Bachchan and other members of the film’s cast and crew, alleging that this film also has used Akhilesh Paul’s life story.