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.