In what can only be labeled a bitch move, Warner Bros has filed a lawsuit against Indian production company Mirchi Movies regarding the forthcoming film Hari Puttar: A Comedy Of Terrors. The reason? Warner feels the movie is taking advantage of the Harry Potter name. WB spokeswoman Deborah Lincoln tells The Hollywood Reporter:
“We have recently commenced proceedings against parties involved in the production and distribution of a movie entitled ‘Hari Puttar’. Warner Bros. values and protects intellectual property rights. However, it is our policy not to discuss publicly the details of any ongoing litigation.”
Mirchi CEO Munish Purii retorded:
We registered the ‘Hari Puttar’ title in 2005 and it’s unfortunate that Warner has chosen to file a case so close to our film’s release. In my opinion, I don’t think our title has any similarity or links with ‘Harry Potter.’
The irony here? Mr Purii is actually the one who’s right. From the looks of Hari Puttar‘s trailer, the movie has nothing to do with the world’s most famous teenage wizard and is actually eerily similar to the Home Alone franchise, a property owned by Twentieth Century-Fox. So if anyone should file a lawsuit against Hari Puttar, it ought to be Fox, a company currently tangled with Warner in a messy battle over the Watchmen rights (god, it’s like a vicious circle).
Article continues after the jump. Also, Hari Puttar trailer.
Indian cinema has often been more or less inspired by American entertainment, from Meet The Parents to the TV show 24, so it’s pretty shocking that Warner would do this, especially since they don’t seem to mind their property being badly spoofed in turds such as Epic Movie (hey, Fox again!). Also, you would think that after receiving a similar (and apparently more valid) bitch slap by Fox over Watchmen, Warner wouldn’t be so anal over a Home Alone ripoff that bears a title similar to Harry Potter. Funnily enough, the first two installments of both Home Alone and Harry Potter were directed by the same man, Mr Chris Colombus. May I be the first to coin this “The Colombus Affair”.
Hari Puttar: A Comedy Of Terrors is set for release in India on September 12th. The sixth installment in the Harry Potter franchise, Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince has recently been pushed back to a worldwide release on July 17th, 2009.