Bollywood doesn't have much in the horror space to particularly appreciate. Moreover, we only have Go Goa Gone as an ode to zombie films. None of the Train to Busan-Esque feeling here. So, Betaal which will release on Netflix increases some anticipation.

Now, Betaal is facing a legal issue. Marathi writers claim that the series' makers have lifted the plot of the series from their zombie film, Vetaal. Even the title shares stark similarity. 


Vetaal makers claim Betaal has borrowed their plot

When Betaal was announced many horror fans were excited about getting a memorable ode to the zombie apocalypse genre. Forget zombies, horror has barely been properly explored as a genre in filmmaking in Bollywood. Betaal is Red Chillies Entertainment and Netflix's outing. 

The series backed by Shah Rukh Khan's production and Netflix has now been called out by Marathi writers. Screenwriters, Sameer Wadekar and Mahesh Gosawi moved Bombay High Court claiming that the series had lifted the plot of their film Vetaal. 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."

A still from Shah Rukh Khan's new web series Betaal
A still from Shah Rukh Khan's new web series BetaalTwitter

He said that there were at least 10 plot points that are similar to the script of the film Vetaal. Betaal is centred on a counter-insurgency squad trying to displace tribals from their village whereas Vetaal is about an environmentalist attempting to stand up to a mining company trying to drive villagers out. Although the High Court dismissed the petition to put a stay on the show, the court said they would consider it if plagiarism charges are proved. It's yet to be seen what will come of it and how far the claims are true.