As Wanted turns 11 on Friday, producer Boney Kapoor has finally opened up on whether Shah Rukh Khan was in the running for the lead role which was eventually played by Salman Khan. Wanted emerged as one of the most popular films of the actor, also giving him a hit when his career was in a slump of sorts.
Directed by Prabhudheva, the film was a remake of Boney’s Telugu film Pokiri. The original featured Mahesh Babu in the lead role and traced a cop who doesn’t play by the book.
Sharing trivia from the film on its anniversary, Boney wrote, “#Wanted marked the revival of single screen cinemas. The crowds were back and so was the old forgotten HOUSEFULL board. #11YearsofWanted #Trivia #MagicofCinema.” He also posted pictures from the time when Wanted was screened in packed theatres.
He also thanked the cast and crew for the film and tweeted, “Ek baar jo maine commitment kar li toh Phir.. has been reverberating for 11 years. Thank you to all #Wanted lovers & to @BeingSalmanKhan @Ayeshatakia @prakashraaj #VinodKhanna @PDdancing @SajidMusicKhan #WajidKhan #VijayanMaster and the entire cast n crew. #11YearsOfWanted.”
It has been rumoured, and even a trivia mentioned on the movie website IMDb claims, that it was Shah Rukh Khan who was first approached for the lead role that eventually went to Salman. Wanted started a trend in Bollywood of south remakes with bent cops in the lead.
Denying all the rumours of approaching SRK first, Boney told BollywoodHungama, “Shah Rukh Khan was not offered Wanted. Salman was the one and only choice. I remember he was shooting for Partner (2007) and I had asked him to see the original film made in Telugu. He had cancelled the plan twice. Meanwhile, the Tamil film was to release and then it would have further led to a scramble for rights. Hence, I insisted Salman that he come and watch. He agreed. Post the shoot, he saw the film at midnight at Dimple Theatre. He loved it and did thumbs up to me and walked towards his car.”
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However, he admitted that two actors – Ileana D’Cruz and Genelia Deshmukh – were in contention for the role that was finally essayed by Ayesha Takia. “Yes, Ileana was in close contention. We also thought of Genelia Deshmukh. There were also two top actresses who were interested but I had to politely say no to them since I wanted an actress who had never worked with Salman before. This is because of this crucial scene in the second half after Salman fights the goons in the train. This is where the girl says, ‘I don’t know if you are a good or a bad person, but the fact is that I love you.’ We needed someone who was in awe of Salman and hence, looked for a new face,” he told the entertainment portal.
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