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‘Kalki 2898 AD’ Accused of Plagiarism by Hollywood Concept Artist

Hollywood concept artists Oliver Beck and Sung Choi accused Vyjayanthi Movies (the film’s producers) of copying their work on X (previously Twitter) after the trailer for Kalki 2898 AD was released. Oliver revealed in an interview with Indian Express that he was first asked to work on Kalki 2898 AD when the film’s creators first contacted him. But once the talks broke down, he claims to have noticed similarities to his work in the June 10 teaser.

Both Oliver Beck and Sung Choi shared side-by-side comparisons of their original illustrations with frames from the trailer. While Sung Choi later removed his tweet, Oliver persisted with his accusations against the creators of Kalki 2898 AD. He said, “Sung Choi wrote about his work being stolen in Kalki 2898 AD trailer on Twitter and then I clicked on the trailer and saw that it is inspired by my work.”

He elaborated, “It might be difficult to see the plagiarism when you are not an artist. You might not see it immediately but all my artist friends that I have talked to and the artist community are very clear that this was referenced from my work and you can see clearly that the main takeaways are the colour palettes, it is the same, and also the shapes. It is not an exact copy but the shapes are similar. It is too much of a coincidence because they also contacted me to work on this film. So, they know my portfolio and they have seen my work so it is too much of a coincidence.”

When asked if he would take any legal action against the makers, Oliver spoke about the difficulty due to the absence of direct replication of his work. He explained, “Legal recourse is challenging for me because there isn’t direct copying of my artwork. Legal action typically requires very evident plagiarism, such as in Sung Choi’s case where the work was practically copy-pasted.”

Oliver concluded, “This is the first time that an artwork of mine was plagiarised on such a big scale. It has happened before but they were very minor things. This is the first time my work got duplicated in an Indian film.”

Kalki 2898 AD stars Prabhas, Amitabh Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Kamal Haasan, and Disha Patani in key roles. It features a dystopian world. The post-apocalyptic film is inspired by Hindu scriptures and is set in the year 2898 AD. The film is directed by Nag Ashwin.

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