The movie, called Daydi (Rogue), was due to be shown in cinemas this week until Uzbekistan’s film licensing body stepped in. It says that while Freeman features prominently on posters for the film and fleetingly in the trailer, he’s nowhere to be found in the full-length feature submitted for licensing approval. It accuses production studio Timur Film of breaching consumers’ rights by trying to whip up demand for tickets with promises of a big movie star. Timur Film hasn’t yet commented.
Government-affiliated Podrobno news agency says the actor’s image was lifted without permission from a movie he did star in – the 2015 action-adventure Last Knights. A comparison between the Daydi poster and the Last Knights trailer shows that Freeman is in identical garb in both.
The film may be devoid of Morgan Freeman, but it does feature Uzbek actor Mirolim Qilichev as an Uzbek police officer tasked with saving the country from an assortment of evil assailants. It’s not yet clear if or when it will be released – it hinges on the verdicts of two government bodies, and the film cannot be shown in the meantime.