Indian actor Madhubala’s sister threatens to take legal action against any unauthorised biopics

Indian actor Madhubala’s sister threatens to take legal action against any unauthorised biopics

The late actor's sister Madhur Brij Bhushan says any film on Madhubala is her "family’s emotional and legal right".
04 Aug, 2022

A biopic on late Indian actor Madhubala is going to hit our screens soon, but the actor’s sister, Madhur Brij Bhushan, has warned any other filmmakers from attempting to make biopics. Bhushan, who is a co-producer of the upcoming project, said any other filmmakers wanting to make a movie on her late sister should get the family’s permission first as it was her “family’s emotional and legal right”.

Earlier last month the biopic was reported to be in works after Madhubala’s youngest sister signed up as a producer. According to Hindustan Times, the biopic will be co-produced by Madhubala Ventures Pvt Ltd and Brewing Thoughts Pvt Ltd. Now the co-producer warned that anyone moving ahead with any project based on her sister other than hers will face legal consequences.

In an interview with Pinkvilla, she revealed that some partners are “already engaged in legal processes” against book publishers and producers who attempted to make something on Madhubala’s life.

“I request that no one should attempt any kind of project — based on or inspired by Madhubala — without my approval. Please don’t spoil this moment for us… If people don’t pay heed to my requests, I’ll have no other option but to take stern legal action and sue them for transgressing on my family’s rights as well as such emotional and mental harassment. All those people who deal with such a project shall be dragged to the court. I am a fighter, and will fight it out that way too,” she told the publication.

 Photo: Screengrab/YouTube
Photo: Screengrab/YouTube

She also told the publication that the purpose of going ahead with the biopic is to continue the “good, noble deeds” that the late actor did in her own lifetime. She added that Madhubala was a charitable person and it was her family’s right to share her story with the world.

Bhushan said she and her sisters were being “mentally and emotionally harassed by some people” and suggested that they pick other subjects and personalities for their films instead of Madhubala.

“What have we done wrong? It’s my family’s emotional and legal right. At this age, my sisters and I are being harassed — mentally and emotionally, by some people. Is that fair? It’s a request from my side to all those who are planning to not move ahead with any such plans. There are many other subjects and personalities on whom beautiful films can be made,” she said.

According to Pinkvilla, actors and filmmakers have shown interest in the biopic, however, the producers have yet to shortlist either the cast or crew.

 Photo: Mughal-E-Azam
Photo: Mughal-E-Azam

Five years ago, the co-producer had shown interest in casting Kareena Kapoor as the main lead. According to The Indian Express, Bhushan had said, while unveiling wax statue at Madame Tussauds Delhi, that “there was a time when I wanted Madhuri Dixit to play the role of Madhubala in her biopic but now it has to be Kareena Kapoor Khan as she has the same naughtiness that Madhubala used to have and she is a beautiful actor too.”

Despite the actor being her first choice, the biopic has sparked a debate online about which actor would fit the role, with the contenders being Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Kangana Ranaut, Alia Bhatt and Bigg Boss season 13 contestant Shehnaaz Gill.

Born in 1933, Madhubala was often regarded as the most iconic female celebrity of Hindi cinema who worked in films between 1942 and 1962. Some of her widely acclaimed films include Mahal (1949), Amar (1954), Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958), Mughal-e-Azam (1960) and Barsaat Ki Raat (1960).

The actor passed away in 1969 at the age of 36 after suffering from a prolonged illness. She was also the wife of prominent Indian singer Kishore Kumar.