Once under the banner of Shah Rukh Khan, the king of Hindi cinema, Red Chillies Entertainment, OTT platform Netflix’s webseries ‘Betal’ has been embroiled in a controversy with its release coming so close. Screenwriters of Marathi films Sameer Wadekar and Mahesh Gosavi filed a petition in the Mumbai High Court against Shah Rukh’s webseries, saying that the story of ‘Betal’ has been stolen from one of their stories ‘Vetal’. The matter has also reached the Screen Writers Association. Netflix has not yet responded to this.
To prove the similarity of Netflix’s series Betal to their film Vetal, Sameer and Mahesh counted at least 10 facts before the court. They said, ‘These two projects have at least 10 similarities. We have associated our story with the era of Shivaji, while in Betal, he has associated this story with the British era. In our story, Senna dances on a folk music. The same scene is also shown in the trailer for ‘Betal’.
The story of Betal has been written by Patrick Graham and Suhani Kanwar, who have been working in India for the past eight years after coming from Britain. The story revolves around a squad that wants to remove the villagers around a tunnel site. Sameer’s story also revolves around an environmentalist who stops mining at a place that wants to drive away the villagers living nearby. However, despite all these facts, the court rejected his plea and said that if there is any similarity in the story, then the producers of the series can be charged.
Sameer Wadekar says, ‘We showed our screenplay in several production houses. We never went to Shah Rukh Khan’s company Red Chillies Entertainment for this, so we don’t want to take any action against him but we want to do a case on Netflix. I do not understand how this story has reached other people. ‘