It is less than 24 hours that ‘Betaal’, the battle between humans and zombies, is set to hit Netflix. It got plagued with accusations of plagiarism from Marathi screenwriters Sameer Wadekar and Mahesh Gosawi.
“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,” in an interview with Mid-day said Marathi screenwriters Sameer Wadekar
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.”
They have filed copyright infringement charges against Netflix and SRK’s Red Chillies Entertainment in Bombay High Court. Screenwriters Sameer Wadekar and Mahesh Gosawi have alleged in their plea that the plot of Betaal has been lifted from their Marathi zombie film, Vetaal.
“When Betaal’s trailer was released on May 7, we found glaring similarities with our script and synopsis posted on Netflix website gave us further indication,” the plea read.
The original Vetaal had been copyrighted in 2015 with Copyright Office in Delhi and the script got registered with Screenwriters’ Association in March 2018.
However, the High Court gave relief to Netflix and SRK by dismissing the petition to grant interim relief to stay the May 24 release of Betaal. The High Court has given the next date of 8 weeks during which the plea can be amended to include claims and damages. It is on the condition that the plagiarism charges need to be proved for the screenwriters to seek damages.
Betaal is the tussle between elite police Vs. the undead. Sometimes the only way to get rid of your fears, is to face them. Tune into Netflix and catch the horror of Betaal. Global premiere happenin’ on May 24
The upcoming horror web series, Betaal has been produced under the banner of SRK’s Red Chillies Entertainment. The cast includes names like Viineet Kumar, Aahana Kumra, Suchitra Pillai, Jitendra Joshi, Manjiri Pupala, and Syna Anand.