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Fighter could well be described as Bollywood’s first big-ticket release in 2024. Directed by Siddharth Anand, and headlined by superstars Hrithik Roshan and Deepika Padukone, the film has all the markings of a superhit. However, ahead of the global release of Fighter, the movie seems to have hit a major speedbump. The action-thriller, which follows an Indian Air Force squad on a mission to protect the country from looming threats, will not be released in Gulf countries except the United Arab Emirates. As per sources, Fighter has failed to receive approval from the GCC Censors [Gulf Cooperation Council Censors]. While the censor screening took place on January 10, 2024, it was officially announced only on January 23, 2024 that the film won’t be released in most Gulf countries. This development comes as a major setback for the film scheduled to release on January 25 as Gulf countries serve a huge market for Bollywood releases.
Trade analyst Girish Johar also tweeted confirming the same and wrote in a post on X [formerly Twitter], “In a setback, #Fighter officially banned across Middle East regions for theatrical release. Only UAE will release the film with PG15 classification!”
In a setback, #Fighter officially banned across Middle East regions for theatrical release. Only UAE will release the film with PG15 classification !@iHrithik @AnilKapoor @deepikapadukone @justSidAnand #BOTracking pic.twitter.com/vPjIV2Acz1
— Girish Johar (@girishjohar) January 23, 2024
About the film, Siddharth Anand said in a making video: “The mission was to make a film on the Air Force which they can be proud of and is authentic. Obviously, we could not do any mockups. We used the real planes, real choppers, real bases, and real hangars. Fighter is something which has taken years, an insane amount of prep. (It) has taken hundreds of people, and thousands of storyboards.” The filmmaker added: “Apart from that, I wanted the manoeuvres of the plane, what they do, how they train, how they brief, what is the lingo they use.” Read what Deepika Padukone has to say about the movie here.
The trailer released a few days ago features Hrithik Roshan in the role of Squadron Leader Shamsher Pathania aka Patty, and Deepika Padukone as Squadron Leader Minal Rathore aka Minni. Anil Kapoor plays the role of Group Captain Rakesh Jai Singh aka Rocky, with Sanjeeda Sheikh, Karan Singh Grover, Akshay Oberoi, Talat Aziz, and Aamir Naik in other important roles. Fighter‘s trailer also has several references to Pakistan, Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir, Pulwama terror attack and India’s response at Balakot.
Watch the trailer here:
Meanwhile, Fighter is Deepika Padukone and Hrithik Roshan’s first on-screen collaboration. However, this is Deepika and Hrithik’s third individual collaboration with Siddharth Anand. Deepika and Siddharth Anand have worked in Bachna Ae Haseeno  and Pathaan , and Hrithik and Siddharth Anand have collaborated on projects like Bang Bang  and War .
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