The proposed release date of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Padmavati" has been deferred, the makers of the film said today.
In a statement to PTI, a spokesperson of Viacom18 Motion Pictures said it had taken the decision "voluntarily". "Viacom18 Motion Pictures, the studio behind 'Padmavati', has voluntarily deferred the release date of the film from December 1st 2017," it said.
The spokesman said it had the highest regard for the law of the land and statutory bodies such as the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). As a "responsible and law-abiding corporate citizen", it was committed to following the established procedure and convention, it said.
"We have faith that we will soon obtain the requisite clearances to release the film," the statement read. Censor Board chief Prasoon Joshi had yesterday slammed the makers for allowing the film to be screened for various media channels before obtaining a certificate from the board.
The CBFC had sent the film back to the producer as the application for the certification was "incomplete". "...We are a responsible, law-abiding corporate citizen and have the highest respect and regard for the law of the land and all our institutions and statutory bodies including the Central Board of Film Certification," the statement said.
The studio said it would soon announce the new release date for the film. "We will announce the revised release date of the film in due course. We stand firm in our commitment to tell endearing tales that resonate with our audiences the world over as we have in the past with our other projects such as 'Toilet: Ek Prem Katha', 'Queen', 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' and many more," it said.
The makers reiterated that the film was a cinematic masterpiece capturing "Rajput valour, dignity and tradition in all its glory". "The film is an eloquent portrayal of a tale that will fill every Indian with pride and showcase our country's story-telling prowess across the globe," it said.
"Padmavati" has been facing controversy since Bhansali started shooting the film earlier this year. The director was roughed up by members of the fringe group Rajput Karni Sena in Jaipur. Its elaborate sets were also vandalised during shooting schedules in Jaipur and Kolhapur.
The first poster of the movie was released in October this year and triggered a storm with various Rajput groups and others claiming that the director had "distorted" historical facts. Bhansali and lead actor Deepika Padukone have received threats. Their security has been beefed up by the Mumbai police.
Meanwhile, the film fraternity has come out in support of Bhansali and the team, with many leading artistes calling it an attack on creative freedom.