Waar director Bilal Lashari's Maula Jatt is one film that has kept everyone on their toes; the latest twist being that the makers of the original 1979 Maula Jatt have accused Lashari and his team of copyrights violations.
Speaking to Images, director and producer Muhammad Sarwer Bhatti accused Lashari and veteran writer Nasir Adeeb of "misleading" him, saying the rights to recreate Maula Jatt were never sold.
In the notice, Bhatti warns the star cast, which includes Mahira Khan, Fawad Khan, Hamza Ali Abbasi and Humaima Malik to "stay away from this project and announce [their] dissociation with illegal film [in the] making as soon as possible."
"You are blessed with a good reputation in the respective field and the team who is reproducing this film illegally is not concerned about your reputation but we believe you must take care of your own reputation if no one else is doing so," the letters further read.
Bhatti further claimed that when he heard the news about Lashari "remaking Maula Jatt", he approached the Waar director who reassured him that his next venture isn't a Maula Jatt recreation.
The veteran producer quoted Lashari's social media post where he had said his upcoming feature is neither Maula Jatt 2, nor a sequel of the cult classic, nor a remake of it either.
"So in good faith, I decided to let the matter go," Bhatti told Images.
However, the veteran filmmaker then came across an interview of the accused on a news channel in which Bilal says he is working on his second film, "titled Maula Jatt".
Bhatti then took up the matter with Kamran Lashari, Bilal Lashari's father and prominent civil servant, informing him of the alleged copyright violations and asking him to guide the budding filmmaker in the matter.
"They were supposed to meet me on the issue. But that meeting never happened," Bhatti said. "Instead, I see an article in The Express Tribune that said Maula Jatt rights have been sold to Bilal Lashari and Ammara Hikmat."
"This is blatant violation of the copyright law," Bhatti claimed, adding the veteran writer of Maula Jatt Nasir Adeeb doesn't own the rights so he cannot sell them either.
"It is my legacy, my pride. I will do everything to punish him," Bhatti added, saying the producer has the complete ownership of copyrights.
Bhatti's son, Mohammed Muttaqi and CEO of Bahoo Films Corporation, said, "It is just a way of falsely satisfying themselves and the people who are working with them."
When asked about copyrights certificates proving his claim, Bhatti said he will share them as and when needed, especially once the legal proceedings advance.
On the other hand, sources close to the film told Images none of the actors or crew have received any legal notices. If and when they do, they will act accordingly.