After receiving tremendous success at the box office in Pakistan and globally, VR Cinemas announced that The Legend of Maula Jatt was to release on 30 December 2022 in India.
The movie was to have a limited release in the capital Delhi and Punjab regions of India.
With the Indian distribution rights owned by Zee Studios, the film was ready to be released.
However, the film’s Indian cinema distribution has now been cancelled.
A spokesperson for multiplex chain INOX commented:
“The distributor has conveyed that the release of the film in India has now been postponed indefinitely.
“We have not been given any new date or the reason for stalling the release.”
The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) had no remarks on the Pakistani film.
However, sources with knowledge of its distribution claimed that theatre announcements are often “done only after CBFC clearance” has been granted for movies.
After more than ten years since Shoaib Mansoor’s Bol, The Legend of Maula Jatt was the first Pakistani movie anticipated to be shown in India.
Among critics of the movie’s release in India, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) had warned cinema-hall owners against screening the movie and sent letters to various establishments.
This included Zee Studios, Movietime Cinema, August Entertainment and Tilak Entertainment.
MNS leader Ameya Khopkar publicly commented against the release:
“We want to tell the sympathisers of Pakistani artists in India that if an attempt is made to show any kind of support to them, they will also face a boycott.”
“Again, if anyone has feelings of love for Pakistani artists, then this one warning is enough for them.
“Heartfelt congratulations to all my colleagues for this victory of the MNS movement.”
Earlier this month, Pakistan-based OTT streaming platform Vidly TV was banned in India for “streaming anti-India content”.
However, sources inside the Information and Broadcasting Ministry of India, which oversees the CBFC, were reported as saying:
“Even as there is no official ban on the release of Pakistani films in India, no Pakistani film has been released in the country in the wake of the dastardly Uri and Pulwama attacks.”
The Legend of Maula Jatt is based on a 1979 Pakistani cult classic titled, ‘Maula Jatt.’
To date, the movie has grossed over £9.9 million worldwide.
The remake features popular Pakistani actors like Fawad Khan, Hamza Abbasi and Mahira Khan.