Shah Rukh Khan Produced Series “Betaal” In Legal Trouble For Plagiarism

Mohnish Singh |May 23, 2020

Shah Rukh Khan has produced Betaal under his production house, Red Chillies Entertainment, for leading streaming media giant Netflix.

Shah Rukh Khan - led Red Chillies Entertainment and Netflix India are in legal trouble as Marathi writers Sameer Wadekar and Mahesh Goswami have filed a case against them, alleging that the makers have plagiarised the story of their zombie film Vetaal to make their upcoming webseries Betaal.

The trailer of Betaal was dropped last week, and when Sameer and Mahesh saw it, they were surprised to find a flurry of similarities between their work and the series. The duo did not waste any time and moved Bombay High Court to file a plagiarism case.

Talking to a publication, Sameer informs that they had taken their script to several production houses. However, he confirms that they had never pitched it to Red Chillies Entertainment and hence, the onus is not on them but on the platform that commissioned the show.

He goes on to add that he has not been able to figure out how the idea reached them. He said that he is told that the show went on floors in July 2019, a year after their script was registered with the Screen Writers’ Association. The writer-duo has registered a complaint with the SWA too.

Shah Rukh Khan produced series premieres on 24th May

Talking about the similarities between his work and the Shah Rukh Khan produced series, Sameer says that there are at least 10 plot points that are similar. He said that they 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. The had written a sequence where the army dances to folk music during a procession. A similar scene is included in their trailer as well. The court has affirmed that the duo can seek damages if the plagiarism charges are proved. Netflix India and Red Chillies Entertainment of Shah Rukh Khan are yet to respond to the allegations.

Shah Rukh Khan has previously produced Bard of Blood for Netflix. Betaal is second production venture for the streamer. It stars Viineet Kumar Singh, Aahana Kumra, Suchitra Pillai, Jatin Goswami, Jitendra Joshi and Manjiri Pupala in important roles.

Betaal is slated to premiere on May 24, 2020 on Netflix.


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