Warner Brothers Sue Over Hindi Film Hari Puttar

By now, most hardcore Harry Potter fans have probably heard of some of the silly unofficial bootleg sequels floating around out there in other parts of the world (books like Harry Potter and The Filler of Big, for example). With that in mind, there’s an Indian movie called Hari Puttar: A Comedy of Terrors about to be released next month, and it doesn’t seem unreasonable for someone to assume that it’s a Bollywood knockoff of the Harry Potter films. The name is so similar that Warner Brothers have filed a lawsuit against production company Mirchi Movies, in an attempt to stop its release. The thing is, the movie has nothing to do with Harry Potter!

If you check out the IMDB synopsis, you’ll notice that the movie has a lot more in common with Home Alone than Harry Potter. It’s about a 10 year old boy who moves with his family from India to the U.K., so that his father can work on a top secret project with the Defense Forces.

“[Uncle] DK arranges a vacation for the entire family and as luck would have it, the next morning, the whole family leaves in a tearing hurry, forgetting that they have left something integral behind – Namely Hari and his little cousin Tuk Tuk. Meantime, an infamous don, Kali Mirchi, assigns two bumbling burglars to steal the secret formula chip from Hari’s house. Hari accidentally discovers the mission of the burglars and is determined to save the secret formula from being exposed.”

Uh, yeah. I think if anyone should be suing, it’s John Hughes. To be fair, according to U.S. copyright law, I’m pretty sure you are legally obligated to sue if someone is infringing on your name, or else you could lose the rights. However, the counter argument is that Hari is a popular Indian name, and the word “puttar” means “son”. Either way, it will be interesting to see who wins this court case, although I’m guessing Warners have the advantage.

  • If it is true that they are legally obligated to sue then why didn’t Rowling sue over the Harry Pothead books? (Maybe she did but I’m not googling it….and oh yeah she’s from the U.K.) Those books may have been worthy of suing over as they compromise the sanctity of a kid friendly franchise.

    It just sounds like Warners is sucking lame sauce because there is no way this will take any viewers away from the franchise. We probably would have never heard of it if they weren’t suing!

  • Neil M

    I don’t see any resemblance to ‘Home Alone’ at all…

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  • Section 31

    I don’t see any resemblance to either film. Warner Bros. should take the money they’d spend on legal action & focus on making movies. This lawsuit stuff is crazy.

  • Home Along might have been better if Macaulay Culkin had been left behind with “his little cousin Tuk Tuk.”

  • Matt

    lol. That would have been awesome.

    Well, its obvious that “Hari Puttar” supposed to sound like Harry Potter, and that people for some reason confuse the two. So I would say that there is some legal groundwork to sue.
    Althought it kinda sounds like Home Alone, kids have been foiling criminal activities in movies way before Home Alone, and plenty of times after.
    And that lame “popular Indian name” “son” explaination is a bunch of ass. That title then doesn’t make any sense. I wanna see someone Japanese-American remake this movie and call it Daniel Son, about a young kid who learns martial arts from an elder, and then foils the evil plans of the Kobra Kai,… and he also does magic. Let’s see what kind of legal problems arise from that.

  • Tuk Tuk would be played by Elijah Wood.

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