Shah Rukh Khan’s second outing with Netflix, Betaal, is just a day away from its release and has invited legal trouble. If reports are to go by, Marathi screenwriters Sameer Wadekar and Mahesh Gosawi have accused Shah Rukh’s Red Chillies Entertainment and Netflix of stealing the plot of their Marathi zombie film Vetaal. The two have also moved to the Bombay High Court and below is all you need to know.
Netflix’s original Betaal, stars Viineet Kumar, Aahana Kumra, Siddharth Menon and ensemble. The zombie drama is said to be the first of its kind directed by the Ghoul fame Patrick Graham and Nikhil Mahajan.
Now if a report in Mid-day is to go by, Mahesh and Sameer have accused Shah Rukh Khan and Netflix of lifting their story that was titled Vetaal. The two have observed over 10 plot point lifted in the trailer itself.
Talking about the same, Sameer Wadekar said, “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.”
He further added, “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.”
Meanwhile, the court rejected their plea to bring a stay on the release of Betaal. But the court has assured the two that they can seek damages if the accusations are correctly proved. Betaal is set to release on May 24 on the streaming giant Netflix.