Ronnie Screwvala and Harman Baweja on July 23 announced that they have signed Kartik Aryan as Captain India which will be directed by Hansal Mehta. The very next day, producer Shubhash Kale indicted the team of Captain India of plagiarism and claimed that the plotline of Caption India is very similar to their project, called Operation Yemen.
The Shubhash Kale film is based on a 2015 operation by the Indian Armed Forces under the leadership of General V. K. Singh, who evacuated Indian and foreign citizens during the Yemeni crisis.
In a conversation with Bollywood Hungama, Subhash Kale said, “We have been working since 2016 on this project. Our cousin, Director Sanjay Sankla, was the pilot on this mission. Sanjay Sankla has been a reputed editor and has worked on nearly 95 films. He researched extensively and when he narrated the idea to me, I said that we should work on it as it’s an interesting subject. We took 9 months to open the script. We even got Mission Mangal (2019) writer Nidhi Singh Dharma on board. Our pre-production is nearly done. I wonder where the idea got leaked from. This episode is in the public domain but we were the first ones to register at the Screenwriters Association (SWA).”
He further added, “Captain India waalon ne toh script likhna shuru bhi nahi kiya.” And then adds, “They had dates of Kartik Aaryan. The idea has not leaked from our side because we have signed a confidentiality agreement with everyone associated.”
The press release from Captain India didn’t mention that the plot was based on Operation Rahat. When asked about this, Kale responded, “Yes but the city of Sana’a, the capital of Yemen is visible on their poster, just like how it’s depicted in our poster as well. And that city’s architecture and landscape are such that it doesn’t match with any other city in the world. Also, the poster shows carpet-bombing happening over the city, an aeroplane going over Sana’a and the title Captain India are clear giveaways that their film is based on the same incident.”
Kale also explained that Hansal Mehta is his friend and he would not stop the making of his film. IMPAA (Indian Motion Picture Producers’ Association) has said that they’ll bring a stay on this film. TP Aggarwal and advocate Ashok Saraogi have confirmed. The Screenwriters Association has told us that once Captain India makers reveal the film’s plot on social media, they’ll take action. Even if the scripts of both films are different, the storyline would be the same and hence both films would also be similar. Done with the same picture toh nahi ban sakti. It’ll then become a repeat of Scam 1992 (2020) and The Big Bull (2021) episode.”
Shubhash Kale then said “We had spoken to Akshay Kumar and he had liked the subject. Paresh Rawal has even given his nod. We’ve moved quite ahead and we’ll do the film, come what may. Captain India makers plan to shoot in 2022. We hope to film from November or December 2021.”
Subhash Kale heads Vikrant Studio, one of the top VFX studios in Bollywood. He said, “We are working on virtual technology in this film. Ronnie Screwvala won’t be able to do the same because we only have that facility. We plan to create virtual sets for the airport and also the aeroplane. We even plan to show Sana’a city through CGI. We have spoken to the team in Turkey about it. The aim is to make a film matching international standards.”