If the original cast of Short Kut - The Con Is On would have remained intact, audiences would have seen Anil Kapoor playing the role that Akshaye Khanna now essays. Also, Arshad was a late entry into the project as he finally got the part written for Akshaye.
"Yes, the film did see some casting changes though all of it happened before it went on floors. Akshaye was always the first choice for the film and he was on board immediately. After Gandhi My Father, it was but natural that he acts in my next production as well," Anil told IANS.
But due to a couple of reasons Anil had to opt out of the project and stay on primarily as a producer.
"Originally I was supposed to do Akshaye's role and he was to do Arshad's role. It was around the same time that Subhash Ghai asked me to do Black & White. I had no reason to say no since I have very high regard for him. We have worked in some wonderful movies together (Ram Lakhan, Karma, Taal) and with Black & White we would have come together after a long time," the versatile actor said.
Around the same time, Anil's dates were also clashing with Yash Raj Films' Tashan.
"Subhash-ji certainly wanted me in his project and requested me if I could postpone Short Kut for a while. Since I couldn't do that as we were ready to kick-start our project, I proposed to move out of my own project. This is when I requested Akshaye to step into the role written for me," he said.
Considering the fact that Akshaye had made up his mind to play the role of a lovable brat, wasn't it difficult for him to have a re-look at the film with a different perspective?
"See, Akshaye is such a versatile actor that he could do well in both the roles. He has a sensitive side to him, something that I realised when I worked with him in Taal. I had complete confidence that he would be convincing in the other role too," Anil said.
Roping in Arshad wasn't difficult at all. "He consented to the film immediately..."
Incidentally, Paresh Rawal too was approached for playing one of the important roles in Short kut.
"We would have loved to see him as a part of our film. We approached him for the role of an acting guru-cum-secretary, which is now being played by Chunky Pandey. But Paresh was bowled over by Arshad's part and wanted to do his role," Anil revealed.
"He was keen to play the role of a bad actor who achieves superstardom. Nevertheless, I'm extremely happy with the way the final casting has worked out for my film. I'm now quite positive that audiences too would find the film as funny and entertaining as we all do."
Directed by Neeraj Vora, Short Kut boasts of a special appearance by both Anil and Sanjay Dutt along with leading lady Amrita Rao in a dance number Mareez-e-mohabbat. The film is all set for a July 10 release.