Betaal is Shah Rukh Khan’s second original for Netflix following Bard of Blood from last year. However, Khan technically isn’t part of the team (he prefers it to be this way) but he had a huge role in the process of arguably the first zombie series in the country. For example, Khan was responsible for the title of the horror series. Patrick Graham, Betaal creator, said to Gadgets 360: “It was originally Betal with one ‘a’. Now it’s Betaal, so that’s Shah Rukh who put the extra ‘a’ in.”
“We had this wonderful three-hour narration with Shah Rukh and he’s the only person I’ve ever narrated to who actually looked me in the eye throughout,” Graham said. “He never once got distracted, he didn’t look at his phone. It was actually a really remarkable experience; I will never forget it.”
Nikhil Mahajan, co-director of the series, said that Khan always had a small notebook and wrote: “And when the narration was over, he took us through the pointers that he had written down.”
“He gave us 12 points of feedback, that me, the co-director, and the co-writer [Suhani Kanwar] all sat and wrote down. And I think we actually enacted most of what his suggestions were, because they were great suggestions,” Graham said.
Mahajan added: “It was very inspiring to see an actor and a star of his stature to do something that is fundamentally the most basic thing: writing things down so that you don’t forget. It was really sweet and humbling. And of course, he had extremely valuable insights which helped us tremendously.”
“Mostly, it was coming from a very strong understanding of how the audience perceive things, and how we can make slight changes to make it more accessible,” Mahajan said. “It was small things, like emotional beats, that would make things more palatable for an audience. It was stuff like that, which was very nice to see because they were right there in front of us and we couldn’t see it.”