Munna Bhai M.B.B.S.: You would be surprised to know that Sanjay Dutt was not the original choice for Murli Prasad Sharma aka Munna Bhai. While Dutt was supposed to play the role of Zaheer, the character portrayed by Jimmy Sheirgill, it was Shah Rukh Khan who was the first choice for the role of Munna Bhai M.B.B.S.
Saina Nehwal biopic: Parineeti Chopra's upcoming film - a biopic on renowned badminton player Saina Nehwal - was first offered to Saaho actress Shraddha Kapoor. But Shraddha turned down the biopic as she was unwell.
Chak De! India: While Shah Rukh Khan won accolades for his role as Kabir Khan, the Indian National Women's Hockey Team coach, the character was earlier offered to Salman Khan. However, the Dabangg star turned down the offer and paved the way for SRK to win some more plaudits! Shah Rukh Khan went on to win a number of awards, including the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment.
Talaash: Aamir Khan's role in Talaash was initially offered to Shah Rukh Khan. However, it is said that SRK was not convinced about working in a suspense thriller and he eventually turned down the offer.
Ghajini: Aamir Khan and Priyanka Chopra's long-awaited collaboration was almost about to happen with A.R. Murugadoss' Ghajini. Yes, PC was the original choice for the Hindi remake of Ghajini. However, Aamir Khan convinced the makers that Asin, who played the lead in the original Tamil film, was the perfect choice for the remake.
Delhi Belly: For this film, producer Aamir Khan was keen on roping in Ranbir Kapoor to play the lead role. However, it is said that Ranbir wasn't happy with the adult content in the film, following which the role went to Imran Khan.
Rang De Basanti: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra had given Shah Rukh Khan the script of 'Rang De Basanti' and offered the role that eventually went to R Madhavan. SRK had loved the script but he couldn't sign the film due to date issues.
3 Idiots: Rajkumar Hirani, after offering Munna Bhai M.B.B.S, went to Shah Rukh for the role of Phunsukh Vangdu in 3 Idiots. However, things did not work out and that role was eventually played by Aamir Khan.
Barfi: Anurag Basu wanted to cast Katrina Kaif as the narrator-actress in Barfi. Her choc-a-bloc schedule came in the way, following which south star Ileana D'Cruz got her Bollywood debut. However, Kat collaborated with Basu in Jagga Jasoos, that bombed terribly at the Box Office.
Bhool Bhulaiyaa: Rani Mukerji refused the lead part in Bhool Bhulaiyaa, which was adeptly performed by Vidya Balan.
Koi Mil Gaya: Preity Zinta's character of Nisha in Koi Mil Gaya was first offered to Aishwarya Rai.
Baazigar: Although rivals at one point before they made up in 2014, Salman Khan indirectly aided Shah Rukh Khan. Baazigar went to SRK only because Salman rejected the film. Years later, Salman was to comment, "If I had done Baazigar, there would be no Mannat today."
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai: Rani Mukerji should be grateful to Twinkle Khanna for giving her career a major fillip. KJo wanted to cast Twinkle as Tina in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, but she did not find the role interesting, following which Rani was roped in.
Darr: Aamir Khan was supposed to play the psychopath in Darr. But he wasn't happy with certain portions of the character during the narration and turned it down. According to Aamir, he was asked to leave the film after he asked for a joint narration with Sunny Deol.
Hum Tum: Vivek Oberoi was offered the lead role of cartoonist Karan Kapoor in Hum Tum. He refused it, a decision he might well be regretting.
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge: Shah Rukh's evergreen role in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge was first offered to another Khan; not Aamir, not Salman, but Saif. Can you imagine Saif as Raj?
Billu: The roles of Shah Rukh Khan and Lara Dutta in Priyadarshan's Billu were initially offered to Akshay Kumar and Tabu respectively.
1942 - A Love Story: Aamir Khan was also offered Vidhu Vinod Chopra's 1942 - A Love Story, but couldn't sign the film because of lack of dates.
Lagaan: SRK was also offered the lead role of Bhuvan in the Oscar-nominated film Lagaan. This was after Aamir Khan wasn't too keen on acting in the movie he was producing. When Shah Rukh Khan did not show any interest, Aamir decided to step in.
Dil Chahta Hai: If all had gone according to plan, the cast of Dil Chahta Hai would have been as follows - Akshaye Khanna, Hrithik Roshan and Saif Ali Khan. Hrithik declined the role, as did Abhishek Bachchan, and Aamir Khan eventually bagged the acclaimed role of Akash Malhotra.
Mr India: One of Bollywood's biggest blockbusters, Shekhar Kapur's Mr India, was offered to superstars Amitabh Bachchan as well as Rajesh Khanna. Both turned it down since they couldn't relate to the invisible hero plot.
Slumdog Millionaire: Amitabh Bachchan refused the role in Slumdog Millionaire, where he had to play himself, host of the game show Kaun Banega Crorepati. Like with Mr India, the role again went to Anil Kapoor.
Race: Fardeen Khan was initially supposed to play the negative character enacted by Akshaye Khanna in Race.
Qurbani: Amitabh was the first choice for the role of Amar, eventually played by Vinod Khanna, in Feroz Khan's brilliant work, Qurbani.
Sholay: The makers of Sholay were keen on casting Danny Denzongpa as Gabbar, but since he was already busy with Feroz Khan's Dharmatma, Amjad Khan got lucky.
Tumsa Nahi Dekha: Shammi Kapoor must have thanked Dev Anand for giving his career a new lease of life. Anand was supposed to play the male lead in Tumsa Nahin Dekha, but he opted out of the film, following which Shammi came into the picture.
Deewar: Shatrughan Sinha was offered the legendary roles of Amitabh Bachchan in Deewar as well as Sholay, but Shotgun turned it down due to various reasons.
Anand: When Hrishikesh Mukherjee was ideating on Anand, he initially wanted Shashi Kapoor to play the lead role. Shashi, however, wanted to focus on romantic roles, and hence refused it. Hrishida was also keen on casting Kishore Kumar for the role of 'Anand', but due to some misunderstanding, they did not collaborate.
Deewar: Speaking of Deewar, Amitabh's role was also offered to Rajesh Khanna. Owing to the lack of dates, the role went to Big B. The late Navin Nischol was offered Shashi Kapoor's role of Ravi in Deewar. However, he turned it down since he did not want to play second fiddle to Amitabh Bachchan. Also, Nirupa Roy's character of the mother was initially offered to Vyjayanthimala.
Zanjeer: Amitabh Bachchan became the angry young man only because Dev Anand refused to do Zanjeer. At a function some years back, Jaya Bachchan even thanked Devsaab for turning down the Prakash Mehra film.
Pyaasa: When Guru Dutt came up with the idea of Pyaasa, he offered the role to Madhubala. The film eventually fell in Mala Sinha's lap and changed her career for the better.
Certain characters in our Hindi films have become synonymous with particular stars. But these actors weren't always the first choice for the roles. Parineeti Chopra is leaving no stone unturned to get into the skin of her character for her upcoming film where she will be essaying the role of ace shuttler Saina Nehwal. But did you know the role was earlier offered to Shraddha Kapoor? Salman Khan was initially approached for the lead in 'Baazigar' and 'Chak De!' but he turned it down. Similarly, Amitabh Bachchan turned down 'Mr India' which gave Anil Kapoor huge recognition.
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