Release of Netflix’s Indian Movie ‘Maharaj’ Delayed Due to Court Order

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Maharaj Netflix Movie Everything We Know So Far

Picture: Netflix

A court order has delayed the release of the first movie in Netflix’s partnership with Yash Raj Films. 

Venerable Indian studio Yash Raj Films took its time getting into streaming content, announcing a partnership with Netflix in September 2023. The results have been great so far, with YRF’s series The Railway Men being one of the most-watched non-English series in the second half of 2023, per the latest Netflix engagement report.

Now, YRF is ready to release the first film in its partnership with Netflix: the historical drama Maharaj. As with The Railway Men, Maharaj draws on a true story as inspiration for its fictional narrative. In addition to the facts of the case, the docu-novel Maharaj by Saurabh Shukla serves as inspiration for the film. The studio tapped Siddharth P Malhotra to direct, having worked with him in the past on the moving 2018 drama Hichki.

What’s the plot of Maharaj?

According to the Netflix press release:

The year is 1862, a time when there were only three universities in India, Rabindranath Tagore is a year old and the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 continues to fan the flames of independence. Against all odds, one man takes a courageous stand in a landmark legal battle, a true story that’s now come to light in Maharaj — more than 160 years later.

Karsandas Mulji, a journalist and social reformer, was a pioneering advocate for women’s rights and social reform. A student at Elphinstone College in Mumbai and a protégé of the scholar-leader Dadabhai Naoroji, he wrote on widow remarriage, stood up for the oppressed, and sowed the seeds of reform in society.

It all came to a head in the Maharaj Libel Case of 1862, which was ignited by allegations of misconduct by a prominent figure, the case garnered widespread attention and scrutiny, setting the stage for what many consider to be one of the most significant legal battles of all time.

Who is cast in Maharaj?

The journalist is played by Junaid Khan, son of Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan. This is Junaid’s film debut.

Jaideep Ahlawat will be a familiar face to Netflix fans, having starred in 2023’s terrific Original Hindi thriller Jaane Jaan and in the 2019 Original series Bard of Blood. He plays a Hindu spiritual leader accused of sexual misconduct in Maharaj.

What’s the release date of Maharaj?

Maharaj was supposed to debut globally on June 14, 2024. Earlier this month, a Hindu rights organization demanded an advanced screening of the film to ensure that it does not hurt religious sentiments. Netflix did not publicly responded to the demand, and the organization — Vishnu Hindu Parishad — took the legal route to halt the film’s release. On June 13, the Gujarat High Court issued a stay order, prohibiting Netflix from releasing Maharaj on the 14th. Netflix is purportedly challenging the order, but it’s unlikely to get relief before the next scheduled court date on June 18 — at which point the stay order ends.

As of now, Maharaj should release globally on June 18, barring further action by the court.

You can add Maharaj to your “Remind Me” Netflix queue here.

This is just one Indian movie of many Netflix has in the works for 2024 and beyond. You can see more of Netflix’s upcoming TV and movie slate from India here.

Are you excited to watch Maharaj? Let us know in the comments below!