×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Viacom Halts ‘Padmavati’ Release After Religious Uproar

India’s Viacom18 Motion Pictures and Bhansali Productions have halted the global release of much-anticipated costume drama “Padmavati.” Controversy was sparked by the idea that it features a cross-faith Hindu-Muslim romance.

The film had been set for a Dec. 1 release in India. Related company, Paramount Pictures was recently announced as handle the worldwide distribution, in a day-and-date date release, coordinated with the outing in India.

While announcing a “voluntary deferment” of the film’s release, Viacom18 said that it had faith in legal process. And that it expected to announce a new date soon.

Directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali (“Bajirao Mastani”), the film features Deepika Padukone (“xXx: Return of Xander Cage”), as the titular Hindu Rajput queen Padmavati who is married to Maharajah Ratan Singh (Shahid Kapoor), the king of the state of Mewar. Their prosperous kingdom attracts the attention of Muslim potentate Sultan Alauddin Khilji (Ranveer Singh) who develops an obsession with Padmavati’s legendary beauty.

The Rajputs are a martial Hindu community, leading members of which ruled several parts of India before British rule.

The film’s troubles began when Rajput fringe groups repeatedly vandalized the sets and staged protests across the country demanding a ban. The bone of contention was an alleged dream sequence in the film where Khilji is seen romancing Padmavati.

India’s Supreme Court dismissed petitions by groups who claimed that the film distorts history. It deferred to the decision of the Central Board of Film Certification. The filmmakers submitted the film for certification, but the CBFC said that the certification process was incomplete.

Political pressure after the chief ministers of the states of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan wrote to the Information & Broadcasting ministry seeking a delay of the release. Bhansali and Padukone have received threats and are under police protection.

“Along with Sanjay Leela Bhansali, amongst the most gifted filmmakers of his generation, Viacom18 Motion Pictures has created a beautiful cinematic masterpiece in ‘Padmavati’ that captures Rajput valor, dignity and tradition in all its glory,” Viacom18 said in a statement. “We are a responsible, law-abiding corporate citizen… We have faith that we will soon obtain the requisite clearances to release the film. We will announce the revised release date of the film in due course.”

More Film

  • Josh Brolin, Kathryn Boyd. Josh Brolin,

    'Avengers: Endgame's' Josh Brolin: Thanos' Butt Is a 'Beautiful, Purple Peach'

    On the eve of “Avengers: Endgame’s” world premiere, everyone’s thoughts have turned to the one crucial detail that could be the difference between life or death for the Avengers: Does Thanos have a butt? “I don’t know what that whole thing is about! I really don’t!” Josh Brolin, who plays Thanos, told Variety‘s Marc Malkin [...]

  • Tessa Thompson'Avengers: Endgame' Film Premiere, Arrivals,

    'Avengers: Endgame's' Tessa Thompson Says Valkyrie Would Spoon Captain Marvel, Thor

    Tessa Thompson, who plays Valkyrie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and upcoming “Avengers: Endgame,” had no problem addressing speculation about the character’s sexuality at the “Endgame” red carpet premiere Monday. The “Sorry to Bother You” actress explained that she played her Marvel character as bisexual. “In the canon, [Valkyrie] is bisexual. You see her with [...]

  • WGA Agency Packaging Fight Placeholder Writer

    Writers Guild Says Over 7,000 Members Have Fired Agents

    Over 7,000 members of the Writers Guild of America have fired their talent agents, the Hollywood union said on Monday. As promised, the guild delivered a first round of termination letters to agents in a show of support for the WGA’s full-on war with the Association of Talent Agents. “Today the Guild delivered a first [...]

  • BRAZILIAN FLAGFRENCH OPEN TENNIS, PARIS, FRANCE

    Brazil’s Ancine Freezes Incentives, Threatening Film-TV Industry Paralysis

    Brazil’s Ancine agency, its foremost public-sector source of film funding, has frozen all of its incentive programs, potentially near paralyzing new production in Latin America’s biggest film-TV industry. The dramatic decision, which has left Brazil’s industry is a state of shock and intense fear for its future, comes as it has taken further hits. In [...]

  • Jennifer Lopez

    Jennifer Lopez Reteams With STXfilms on Romantic-Comedy Co-Starring Owen Wilson

    Jennifer Lopez is reteaming with STXfilms on the upcoming romantic-comedy “Marry Me.” Kat Coiro is directing the film and Owen Wilson is in final negotiations to join the pic, which will likely shoot this fall. The script was written by John Rogers and Tami Sagher, with a rewrite by Harper Dill. Lopez and Wilson both [...]

  • Steve Golin The Revenant Spotlight Producer

    Steve Golin, Prolific Producer and Founder of Anonymous Content, Dies at 64

    Steve Golin, an Oscar-winning producer who was founder and CEO of Anonymous Content, died Sunday in Los Angeles of cancer. He was 64. Golin was a pioneer in blending the business of talent management with production. Anonymous Content, which Golin founded in 1999, worked with a stable of big name artists such as Steven Soderbergh, [...]

  • David Leitch Kelly McCormick

    'Hobbs & Shaw' Director David Leitch, Kelly McCormick Sign First-Look Deal With Universal (EXCLUSIVE)

    Universal Pictures is signing David Leitch, his longtime producing partner, Kelly McCormick and their recently founded 87North Production banner to a first-look production deal. “David and Kelly have established themselves as a distinctive, stylish filmmaking team who can do it all, from contained thrillers to franchise tentpoles,” said Universal’s president Peter Cramer. “We are confident [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content