The star cast for Rajkumar Hirani’s P.K. is beginning to resemble the ever-changing Indian cricket team lineup — while a few names have remained constant, others have been in and out of the list. Now, the latest news is that director (and chief selector) Rajkumar Hirani has roped in a trusted star — Sanjay Dutt. The director and actor have, of course, had a lot of success working together in the Munna Bhai films.
Sanjay is the latest addition to a cast comprising Aamir Khan, Anushka Sharma and Sushant Singh Rajput. “Sanjay has been finalised. He will play the part of a rustic Rajasthani. He will have quite a few sequences with Aamir’s character in the film,” says an insider close to the project.
This will be the third time Rajkumar and Sanjay will team up after Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. (2003) and Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006). It will also be the first time Sanjay will act with Aamir.
“Although Sanjay’s casting was confirmed late, his role is pivotal,” adds the insider.
Interestingly, Sanjay seems to have effectively replaced his Munna Bhai co-actor Arshad Warsi, who was initially approached for the multi-starrer. However, Arshad had to back out due to date issues. A few days back, he was quoted saying, “Rajkumar Hirani wanted me to do P.K. Unfortunately, the dates of Dedh Ishqiya and P.K. were clashing and I had to choose one project. So I decided to go with the Ishqiya sequel.”
Besides constant changes in the cast, P.K. has also been in the news for script alterations and delays. As a result, the film that was supposed to go on the floors in October 2012 is yet to get off the ground. Apparently, director Hirani and writer Abhijat Joshi had to make modifications to the script after noticing similarities in the subject to Akshay Kumar’s OMG: Oh My God (2012), a satire on godmen and religious malpractices.
“When the script was altered, a few new characters were added, including the one to be played by Sanjay. The shooting was held up due to the same reason,” adds the insider.
Despite repeated attempts Sanjay and Hirani remained unavailable for comments. P.K. will release around Christmas this year.