Shah Rukh Khan produced horror web series Betaal, is all set to stream on Netflix from May 24, 2020. But ahead of its release, the makers of Betaal have landed into legal trouble as two Marathi writers- Sameer Wadekar and Mahesh Goswami filed a case against Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment and Netflix, alleging that they have lifted the content of their zombie film, Vetaal.
A report of Mid-Day states that after the trailer of Betaal was released last week, Sameer Wadekar and Mahesh Goswami moved Bombay High Court and filed a case of plagiarism. Sameer told the tabloid, “We had taken our script to several production houses. We hadn’t pitched it to Red Chillies Entertainment, so the onus isn’t on them, but on the platform that commissioned it. I haven’t been able to figure out how [the idea] reached them. I am told the show went on floors in July 2019, a year after my script was registered with the Screen Writers’ Association [SWA]. We’ve registered a complaint with the SWA too.”
Speaking about the similarities in both Vetaal and Betaal, Sameer further said, “There are at least 10 plot points that are similar. We have depicted zombies as descendants of the Vetaal army from Shivaji’s era while, in Betaal, they are shown as belonging to the British era. We had written a sequence where the army dances to folk music during a procession. A similar scene is included in their trailer. The court has affirmed that we can seek damages if the plagiarism charges are proved.” Surprisingly, Netflix and Red Chillies Entertainment have not yet responded to these serious allegations.
On a related note, Netflix India has planned to share an exclusive sneak peek of Betaal on Saturday night. The live show titled ‘Horror Night with Betaal‘ will be premiered on YouTube at 7 pm. The lead actors of Betaal, Vineet Kumar Singh, Aahana Kumra with directors Patrick Graham and Nikhil Mahajan, will be having a fun chat segment after the show.
Meanwhile, Betaal also stars Suchitra Pillai, Jitendra Joshi, Jatin Goswami, Manjiri Pupala and Syna Anand in pivotal roles. The web series has been penned by Patrick Graham and Suhani Kanwar.