If there is a film to come out of Pakistan that ‘cult status’ can be conferred on, it would have to be Maula Jatt. Muhammad Sarwar Bhatti, the producer behind the Maula Jatt film franchise, has announced the rerelease of the iconic film in Blu-ray and 3D technology.
Bhatti, who is the chairman of Bahoo Films Corporation, shared that the film is being enhanced in London using latest 3D technology. “The film is in the process of being remastered in London. The conversion will take place both in London and Pakistan and is going to cost an estimated Rs4 million to Rs5 million,” he said.
Filmmaker Bilal Lashari chose to remake the film as his next project, but so has production company Crew Films. While speaking to The Express Tribune, Bhatti disclosed that he has not given the film’s copyrights to either of the two.
“I met Lashari and have told him that he is not making the film legally. I informed him that whoever has invested in your project will suffer because you have not bought the rights to Maula Jatt from me,” said Bhatti. Lashari earlier described his vision for the film, stating, “My version of Maula Jatt will be a visual epic with less dialogue and many captivating moments. It will be a dark but stylised take on Pakistan’s original film genre.”
Bhatti further shared, “I also met Faisal Rafi [senior producer at Crew Motion Pictures] and unfortunately, nothing materialised. I told them that they cannot proceed with the project until they buy the rights from me.”
On the question of whether the decision to rerelease Maula Jatt is financially viable, Bhatti said, “I have enjoyed the success of the film and know how far its reach is. The film will hopefully draw large crowds.” He added that the unique selling point of the film is that it caters to the masses, unlike most films being produced today. “The films being made today are for the elite and are being screened in multiplexes,” he commented. “Maula Jatt is a film that was enjoyed by all audiences and was even screened in a cinema in Lahore for six years.”
Maula Jatt depicts a bloody feud and is set against the backdrop of the city of Gujranwala. The film follows the rivalry between Maula Jatt (Sultan Rahi) and Noori Natt (Mustafa Qureshi). The Maula Jatt character has dominated Pakistani pop culture and folklore since several years.
The film was a resounding success in Pakistani cinema in the 1980s and spawned a number of sequels. In doing so, it became the first-ever unofficial Lollywood film franchise with sequels, such as Maula Jatt Te Noori Natt and Maula Jatt in London.
Bhatti looks forward to releasing the trailer for Maula Jatt 3D in the coming few months. “I am hopeful about releasing the trailer for the film in the next six to eight weeks, soon after the post-production phase is complete,” he said.