Shah Rukh Khan‘s upcoming series ‘Betaal’ has landed into legal trouble as Marathi screenwriters Sameer Wadekar and Mahesh Gosawi have accused Netflix and SRK’s Red Chillies Entertainment of plagiarism. They have moved to the Bombay High Court.
Sameer Wadekar told Mid-day, “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 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.”
As of now, the high court has dismissed their petition to put a stay on the show. “The court has affirmed that we can seek damages if the plagiarism charges are proved,” said Sameer.
‘Betaal’ was to premiere on May 24 on Netflix. The web show stars Viineet Kumar, Aahana Kumra, Suchitra Pillai, Jitendra Joshi, Manjiri Pupala and Syna Anand.
Netflix and Red Chillies Entertainment are yet to respond to the allegations.