‘Kalki 2898 AD’ makers accused of plagiarism; Insta post later deleted by Korean artist

Sung Choi shared (and later deleted) one of his artworks alongside a screenshot from the film. The resemblance between the image and his artwork is striking.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jun 14, 2024 | 2:39 PM Updated Jun 14, 2024 | 2:39 PM

Kalki 2898 AD makers accused of plagiarism

Kalki 2898 AD, the highly anticipated film starring Prabhas, Amitabh Bachchan, Kamal Haasan, and Deepika Padukone encountered issues before its theatrical release.

The trailer has sparked curiosity and interest among viewers about the post-apocalyptic world anticipating the arrival of Kalki, a messianic figure from Hindu scriptures. However, the makers of Kalki 2898 AD are facing accusations of plagiarism.

South Korean artist Sung Choi shared (and later deleted) one of his artworks on Instagram alongside a screenshot from the beginning of the trailer, depicting a war-ravaged city. The resemblance between the image and his artwork is striking.

The original caption of the post read: “Unauthorised use of the artwork is a bad practice. This makes me question doing art in this lawless environment.”

The deleted post of Korean artist Sung Choi

The deleted Instagram post of Korean artist Sung Choi. (Instagram)

The captions have since been edited to include only hashtags and mentions of the film’s title and production company.

Netizens were quick to spam his comment section, criticising the makers of Kalki 2898-AD for plagiarising Sung Choi’s work without giving him proper credit.

“I hope you pursue legal action if possible. This is awful,” wrote an Instagram user.

Another one pointed out, “Many designs in the trailer seem to be lifted from the Halo series and Death Stranding. I’m surprised that some of the concept designers who worked on the film remain silent about this.”

Sung Choi is a South Korean artist who collaborated with major Hollywood companies, including Marvel Studios, Disney, Warner Bros, and Netflix Animation.

Redditors also took a dig at the producers for not giving Choi proper credit.

One user wrote, “This is shameful and disappointing. They blatantly copied a 10-year-old artwork for the very first frame of the trailer. Even the weapons and other elements seem directly ‘inspired’ by various games and movies. I wonder what else people will notice that’s uncredited. Too afraid to post this in the Tollywood sub because of the fanboys.”

Kalki 2898 AD takes viewers to a dystopian future in the city of Kasi, where survival is arduous.

As citizens and scientists await an incarnation, Ashwathama from the Mahabharata reappears after decades of seclusion.

Directed by Nag Ashwin, the film is scheduled to be released in theatres on 27 June.

Related: ‘Kalki 2898 AD’ trailer is merely the tip of the iceberg, says Nag Ashwin

Plagiarism & Prabhas films

In 2023, allegations of plagiarism arose against a Prabhas film.

An animation studio named Vaanarsena claimed that the poster for Adipurush (2023), featuring Prabhas and Saif Ali Khan, replicated their artwork.

The studio posted a comparison on Instagram, showcasing their original Lord Shiva artwork alongside the Adipurush poster, demanding recognition for the original creator.

Vivek Ram, an artist from Vaanarsena Studio, also condemned the clear imitation on LinkedIn.

Earlier, Lisa Ray criticised the makers of Saaho (2019) for reportedly plagiarising artwork from Bengaluru-based artist Shilo Shiv Suleman for one of its posters. On Instagram, she posted images comparing the original artwork with the Saaho poster, pointing out the similarities.