It was an ambitious plan.
For MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, director Neeraj Pandey decided to have dubbed versions of the Sushant Singh Rajput starrer release alongside the original.
Actor Dhanush released the Tamil language version of the film's trailer; for the Telugu dubbed version, it was Nani (Naveen Babu).
So far, so good.
But when Pandey and Fox Star Entertainment announced that a Marathi dubbed version of MS Dhoni: The Untold Story would also be released, perhaps they hadn't foreseen the roadblock that plan could run into.
Recent reports state that the film wing of Raj Thackeray's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, or MNS, has objected to the release of a Marathi dubbed version of the film.
As per an article carried in The Indian Express, the president of the Maharashtra Navnirman Chitrapat Karmachari Sena Ameya Khopkar said that the film's producers had been requested to "take back" the Marathi language version of the film.
Khopkar added that the MNCKS wasn't against the film; but felt that the dubbed version might eat into the business of other Marathi language films.
"By dubbing such movies in Marathi you are creating competition for local films, which are already facing problems. A Maharashtrian as it is follows Hindi. If he wants to see the film, he can watch it in Hindi," Khopkar was quoted as saying.
He further added that if the producers went ahead with their plans, the MNCKS would protest in a "democratic way".
In an interview with Mid-Day, Khopkar was quoted as saying that he intended to watch MSD: The Untold Story, but "the problem, however, lies with the dubbed version". "If one producer releases his film in Marathi, it will pave the way for the others too. That is a scary scenario since regional filmmakers already face a lot of problems in getting screens at multiplexes. Bharatmata Cinema, a single screen theatre in Lalbaug, plays only Marathi films. If they too start screening dubbed films, where will our producers and directors go?" Khopkar asked.
It must be noted that while Hindi films are frequently dubbed in other languages, it isn't common for them to have Marathi language versions.
Director Neeraj Pandey had said that since MS Dhoni has been among the most popular Team India captains in the history of Indian cricket, it made sense for them to release the biopic in as many languages as possible, to ensure a wide reach.
There has been no comment so far from either Pandey or Fox Star about the objection from Khopkar's outfit.