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When Bollywood films were marred by casting woes

After multiple chop and change, Karan Johar has finally locked the cast of 'Shuddhi' by replacing Salman Khan with Varun Dhawan. We take a look at films that have been marred by similar casting woes...

There is nothing more frustrating for a filmmaker than being forced to get a replacement for his/her original choice of actors whatever be the reason. Scouting for the "perfect replacement" can often be a tedious task that invariably leads to prolonged delays in the project.

Salman Khan
Salman Khan. Pic/Sameer Markande

Karan Johar almost pulled off a casting coup of sorts by roping in Hrithik Roshan and Kareena Kapoor for his magnum opus, Shuddhi. However, Hrithik opted out soon after, leading to a series of casting troubles for KJo. Later, Kareena too bowed out. Rumoured lovebirds Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone were then considered, but Sanjay Leela Bhansali succeeded in signing them for Bajirao Mastani around the same time.

Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt have been locked as the lead pair for Karan Johar’s Shuddhi, which was initially offered to Hrithik Roshan and Kareena Kapoor. Salman Khan’s name also did the rounds
Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt have been locked as the lead pair for Karan Johar's 'Shuddhi', which was initially offered to Hrithik Roshan and Kareena Kapoor. Salman Khan's name also did the rounds

Finally, Karan approached Salman Khan who gave his nod to the project. Just when everyone thought the movie was ready to roll, Karan bowled a googly by announcing Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt as the lead actors for his movie. Howzzat?

Considering this development, hitlist pulls out a list of films that have encountered the dreaded casting jinx...

'Paani'
For his forever pet project, Shekhar Kapoor was said to have signed Hrithik Roshan after he waxed eloquent about the Greek God-like actor on his own blog.

Hrithik Roshan was apparently Shekhar Kapur’s first choice for Paani. The role has now gone to Sushant Singh Rajput
Hrithik Roshan was apparently Shekhar Kapur's first choice for 'Paani'. The role has now gone to Sushant Singh Rajput

On his part, Hrithik had admitted that he dreams of working with Kapur while remaining non-committal about his presence in the project. Unfortunately, the movie remained submerged under troubled waters for far too long. Finally, when YRF decided to produce it, the news was followed by Hrithik's exit. Apparently, the actor demanded a share in profits which was turned down by the production house. YRF's favourite Sushant Singh Rajput was drafted in as his replacement.

'Milan Talkies'
Tigmanshu Dhulia's project went through some terrible casting aches. The movie was announced with Imran Khan and Priyanka Chopra as the lead pair until Imran Khan apparently walked out after a fallout with Balaji boss Ekta Kapoor post the debacle of 'Once Upon A Time in Mumbai Dobaara'.

Shraddha Kapoor and Aditya Roy Kapoor had been offered Milan Talkies, but they opted out of it, one after the other. Original choice Imran Khan is said to be back in the project
Shraddha Kapoor and Aditya Roy Kapoor (right) had been offered Milan Talkies, but they opted out of it, one after the other. Original choice Imran Khan is said to be back in the project

The makers apparently tried getting Shahid Kapoor on board, but the deal didn't materialise. Priyanka too left the project later. Eventually, Aditya Roy Kapur and Shraddha Kapoor were signed on, but both dropped out too. Last heard, Balaji was still keen on getting the project rolling and while Imran is apparently back in the film, the hunt for a new cast is on.

Bhavesh Joshi
Vikramditya Motwane's common man turning vigilante project was all set to roll with Imran Khan playing the titular role. Blame it on Imran's tough luck, the actor ended up losing this project to Bollywood's newest heartthrob Sidharth Malhotra.

Sidharth Malhotra has replaced Imran Khan in the upcoming film, Bhavesh Joshi
Sidharth Malhotra has replaced Imran Khan in the upcoming film 'Bhavesh Joshi'

However, with a change in government at the Centre, the director felt there was no more relevance in doing the film as it was based on corrupt practices rampant during the previous government's reign. The movie has finally been consigned to the bin.

'Bajirao Mastani'
Sanjay Leela Bhansali's dream project was first announced in 2003 with Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as the lead pair.

Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra will be seen in Bajirao Mastani, which was originally supposed to be made with Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra will be seen in 'Bajirao Mastani', which was originally supposed to be made with Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

But post their very public break-up, Ash was replaced by Kareena Kapoor and Rani Mukerji was apparently being considered to essay the role of Bajirao's first wife, Kashibai. However, the casting went for a toss after Salman and Kareena subsequently ended up signing other films. Bhansali who desired to be the first one to showcase Salman-Kareena pairing on screen temporarily shelved the movie and moved on to other projects. It was revived after Goliyon Ki Rasleela: Ram-Leela and current sweethearts, Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone were signed to play the lead roles with Priyanka Chopra signed as Kashibai.

'Singh is Bling'
This Akshay Kumar-starrer was slated to be Kriti Sanon's big leap after her debut film, 'Heropanti'. The project, however, got significantly delayed and in the intervening time, Kriti signed Rohit Shetty's multistarrer 'Dilwale'.

Kriti Sanon (left) was replaced by Amy Jackson in Singh Is Bling
Kriti Sanon (left) was replaced by Amy Jackson in 'Singh Is Bling'

When 'Singh is Bling' was ready to go on floors, it clashed with Kriti's dates allotted for Dilwale. Caught up in a catch-22 situation, the actress chose to go with the latter. Akshay immediately roped in Amy Jackson as Kriti's replacement and the film has already gone on floors.

'The Devotion of Suspect X'
The cinematic adaptation of the Japanese bestseller has been long waiting in wings to take off. The movie to be directed by Sujoy Ghosh was initially supposed to star Kangana Ranaut and Saif Ali Khan in lead roles.

Kangana Ranaut (left) was being considered for the Sujoy Ghosh film, which may now feature Ash in the lead
Kangana Ranaut (right) was being considered for the Sujoy Ghosh film, which may now feature Ash in the lead

But with Kangana stating that she had never committed herself to the project, it hangs in balance. For the moment, the makers are looking for a female lead. Whispers in the industry corridors suggest that Aishwarya Rai Bachchan might end up doing the role.

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