Betaal makers face legal trouble as Marathi writers allege plagiarism

Marathi writers Sameer Wadekar and Mahesh Goswami claim to have registered their script for Vetaal in 2018 and allege that their plot has been lifted for Vineet Kumar’s upcoming Betaal.
Viineet Kumar plays the lad role in Betaal.
Viineet Kumar plays the lad role in Betaal.
Updated on May 23, 2020 11:21 AM IST
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The makers of upcoming horror film, Betaal, face legal trouble as Marathi writers Sameer Wadekar and Mahesh Goswami filed a case against Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment and Netflix - producers of the series - alleging that the makers have lifted the story of their zombie film, Vetaal.

As per a report in Mid Day, soon after the trailer of Betaal was unveiled last week, Sameer and Mahesh moved Bombay High Court. Sameer told the publication, “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.”

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“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,” he added. Both Netflix and Red Chillies Entertainment are yet to respond to the allegation.


Meanwhile, Netflix India plans to share an exclusive sneak-peek of Betaal Saturday night. The preview ‘Horror Night with Betaal’ is a live show that will be premiered on Youtube 7 pm on Saturday. The show will also be followed by a fun chat with lead actors Viineet and Aahana, and directors Patrick Graham and Nikhil Mahajan.

Starring Viineet Kumar Singh, Aahana Kumra, Suchitra Pillai, Jitendra Joshi, Jatin Goswami, Manjiri Pupala, and Syna Anand, the series promises a gripping story and battle between the living and dead. Betaal has been directed by Patrick Graham and Nikhil Mahajan while Patrick Graham and Suhani Kanwar have penned it. It releases on May 24, 2020 on Netflix.

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Thursday, October 28, 2021