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As Hrithik Roshan gears up to play the lead in Ashutosh Gowariker’s next, based on the Indus Valley civilisation (in a film called Mohenjo-Daro), not many know that Sushant Singh Rajput had been in talks for the same role.
But even as Hrithik takes over from Sushant, the latter, coincidentally, is set to star in Shekhar Kapur’s next – Paani – a futuristic project set in Mumbai – which was earlier supposed to feature Hrithik in the lead.
"Originally, Gowariker had offered the film to Hrithik. In between, when it seemed like the actor wouldn’t be able to take it up, he was in talks with Sushant," says an insider.
On being contacted, Gowariker says, "Hrithik has always been the first choice. Clearly, Mohenjo Daro was destined to be made with him, as three years later, we are ready to begin shoot."
Meanwhile, Sushant says (via a text response), "All I know is that I’m a part of Paani next, and wouldn’t like to comment on any other project."
However, this isn’t the only coincidence. Ranveer Singh and Ranbir Kapoor were in a similar situation last year. Ranveer was the first choice for Anurag Kashyap’s Bombay Velvet; when he couldn’t take it up (due to date issues), Ranbir was signed. Again, after Ranbir opted out of Zoya Akhtar’s Dil Dhadakne Do, Ranveer replaced him.
Ranveer, on being contacted, says, "After the film is made, no one cares who it was offered to [first]. Such things become irrelevant very fast. For me, it has absolutely no significance. It didn’t matter to me what the history of the casting was."Did you know?
Aamir Khan turned down Darr (1993), which was later done by Shah Rukh Khan. Years later, SRK said no to Lagaan (2001) and 3 Idiots (2009), which were taken up by Aamir.
Salman Khan was offered Baazigar (1993) and later Chak De! India (2007). Both were taken up by Shah Rukh Khan.
Later, Shah Rukh Khan was offered Ek Tha Tiger (2012), which eventually starred Salman.
Rumours suggest that Katrina Kaif turned down Chennai Express (2013) and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013), both of which went to Deepika Padukone.
Again, Deepika Padukone was apparently the first choice for Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012) and Dhoom:3 (2013), which eventually featured Katrina.