The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) is often in the news for censoring or cutting scenes or dialogues from films. Recently, the CBFC made noise after actor Vishal accused the officials of bribery while he tried to get the certificate for the Hindi version of Mark Antony. And now, the board is in the news again thanks to the upcoming Hollywood film, Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom. The film was all set to release in multiple languages on December 21. Bollywood Hungama has now learned that only the English version will make it to the cinemas tomorrow as the regional versions didn’t get a certificate in time.
SHOCKING: Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom’s regional versions won’t release on December 21 as scheduled; expected to release on December 22 or 23 as CBFC members fail to watch the dubbed versions despite applying for certificate in advance
A trade source told Bollywood Hungama, “It’s confirmed. Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom won’t have a release in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu on December 21. This is because the CBFC officials are yet to watch the film.”
The trade source further said, “Warner Bros had applied for the certification a month in advance. Yet, the CBFC’s committees didn’t watch all versions. The English version was seen just a few days ago and the certificate was handed over to the studio yesterday. The studio tried its best to request the CBFC members to certify the regional versions but they didn’t.”
When asked when the Hindi, Tamil and Telugu versions will be released, the source replied, “If the CBFC members watch the dubbed versions on December 21, then Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom’s regional versions will be released on Friday, December 22. If they see the film on December 22, then Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom will get a release only on Saturday, December 23.”
An industry insider commented, “This will cause a mess in the exhibition sector. Salaar is going to be released on Friday, December 22. Hence, for a day, Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom was going to enjoy a wide release in Southern and Hindi markets for a day. It would have given the film a chance to generate a positive word of mouth and then it would have benefited during the holidays. Now, the film has lost this chance for no fault of the studio. The exhibitors will now have to replace Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom’s shows with other films or with its English version. The first part had done well in the South. The exhibitors out there were hoping to screen its regional version a day before Salaar’s release and get decent footfalls.”
The insider also said, “Warner Bros is a major global company and this fiasco will get noticed across the world. This could have been avoided.”
This is not the first instance where a film has got a delayed release due to CBFC. Jennifer Lawrence-starrer sex comedy No Hard Feelings was released on Saturday, June 24, instead of Friday, June 23 as the CBFC took time to give a certificate. 6 years ago, Justice League (2017), also backed by Warner Bros, was released only in English on November 17 while it was released in regional versions a week later, on November 24, again thanks to CBFC.
When contacted, a spokesperson of Warner Bros India, “We are yet to receive the certificate for the Hindi, Tamil and Telugu versions. We are hoping we get it soon and that the film gets a release in all languages tomorrow, as scheduled.”
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