Mollywood
Mukesh Khanna, who played the title role in the Doordarshan series ‘Shaktimaan’, threatened legal action against director Omar Lulu for reproducing his character without permission in ‘Dhamaka’.
Malayalam actor Mukesh in 'Dhamaka'

A picture of Malayalam actor Mukesh sporting the costumes of the fictional character Shaktimaan for a film called Dhamaka, directed by Omar Lulu, has landed the makers in trouble.

Mukesh Khanna, the actor and producer of the original Shaktimaan series which was broadcast on Doordarshan, has threatened legal action on the makers of Dhamaka for re-producing the character without their permission.

Director Omar Lulu has put a Facebook post in response, addressed to Mukesh Khanna. He writes: “I was informed by FEFKA of your complaint about depicting Shaktimaan as one of the characters in my upcoming movie _Dhamaka_ . I understand that you are the copyright holder of the character 'Shaktimaan', his costume, theme music etc and I should not have tried to use it in my film without your permission. I sincerely apologize for the oversight and any inconvenience this might have caused you. Superhero references are popularly used in South Indian movies and so we inadvertently overlooked the copyright concerns. We intend to give due credit to you in the title credits of the movie (sic).”

He also clarifies that in his film, Malayalam actor Mukesh does not play Shaktimaan but another character visualises him as Shaktimaan for possessing extraordinary health and stamina in his age. “My writers had originally thought of Superman and I could not help changing it to Shaktimaan because generations of Indians were inspired by Shakthimaan since its inception in DD1 and I am a proud member of that fandom,” Omar writes.

He goes on to say that ‘Malayali's nostalgia is incomplete without the memories of Shaktimaan, the first Indian superhero of television.’

Nikki Galrani has been roped in to play the female lead in the film. The others in the supporting roles of Dhamaka will be Urvashi, Dharmajan and Hareesh Kanaran. The film is bankrolled by MK Nasser. Arun Kumar, who was a child actor in the 1990s, will be the hero in Dhamaka

(With input from Digital Native)