Shah Rukh Khan-Ajay Devgn were Original Choices for Karan Arjun, Says Rakesh Roshan

Karan Arjun stands as one the most iconic Bollywood movies of all time. And even as it completed 25 years of its release, director Rakesh Roshan made an interesting revelation.

A trivia section of IMDb reveals the actors running for the role were Ajay Devgn, Sunny Deol, Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty and Armaan Kohli. Aamir Khan had been approached too, but he declined since he was unsatisfied with the role. In an interview, Rakesh burst the myth and revealed, "Not really. The original choice of actors was Shah Rukh Khan and Ajay Devgn. But they were not happy with their respective parts and wanted to switch. So Shah Rukh wanted to play Karan while Ajay desired to essay Arjun. However, I refused to do so. Hence, they both backed out of the film. Basically, they were not convinced with the story and the reincarnation element. Not just them, most people I narrated the story to were not convinced.”

While no one was able to digest the plot, Rakesh says he had full faith despite his actors backing out. He reveals that he then approached Aamir and Salman who “jumped at the script”. However, Aamir had been shooting at that time and couldn’t have started working before six months, which was too long a wait. “Meanwhile, Shah Rukh found out that Salman and Aamir have shown interest. This is when he came back to me. He said sorry and insisted that he wants to do the film. And his dates were available. So, I went to Aamir and explained him the situation. Also, I had worked with Shah Rukh before – you can say that I gave him a break in King Uncle. Aamir understood and this is how the male lead actors of the film were locked!” he added.

The director said that Shah Rukh had apprehensions about the film till the end but later apologized when it turned out to be a blockbuster.

When asked who could play the lead Karan and Arjun in today’s date, he said, “Today, there are some good actors who can do these roles. Hrithik is there and even Ranbir Kapoor is there – both can do a tremendous job. Or even Hrithik and Ranveer Singh can pull it off. In fact, all actors today are good enough to play these roles.”

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