In the earlier article about the Robot franchise, we revealed the journey of making India’s most successful science fiction film and how Shankar was in talks with superstars like Kamal Haasan and Shah Rukh Khan before finally getting Rajinikanth on board. 8 years after the release of Robot, the industry is gearing up for 2.0 which stars Rajinikanth and Akshay Kumar in lead. The casting process of 2.0 is as interesting as it was for Robot.
After the release of I, when Shankar decided to take the Robot franchise forward, he approached Rajinikanth with the script, however, the superstar wasn’t too confident to do the film owing to his health issues. After the narration, Rajinikanth recommended Aamir Khan’s name for the character of Chitti to Shankar. The director was also quite charged up to work with Aamir Khan on the film as the presence of Khan would give the film a pan-India reach. Shankar met Aamir Khan with his team of writers and narrated the script of 2.0. While Aamir Khan was blown away with Shankar’s conviction and belief in the subject, he couldn’t visualize himself as a Robot.
“I am a big fan of Shankar and I was offered the film. It is a blockbuster and I am sure it is going to break all records. I was offered Rajinikanth’s role in the film, but I could only see Rajinikanth in the role. I could not see myself. When I used to think of the film and scenes, Rajinikanth used to come in my head. That’s when I told Shankar that I won’t be able to do it,” said Aamir in an interview.
After Rajinikanth refusing the film, Shankar was planning to cast Aamir Khan and Arnold in the film. The director was in advanced talks with the Hollywood action star, who in an interview also revealed that he would love to do a film with Shankar. However, after Aamir Khan’s refusal, things didn’t quite work out with Arnold as well due to remuneration issues and the deal fell apart.
“We approached him (Arnold) and we had extensive negotiations with his team, but things did not fall in place while signing the contract,” said Shankar.
It seems as if Rajinikanth was destined to do the film. As the film got delayed due to casting issues, Rajinikanth recovered from the health problems and agreed to act in the film. Shankar then wanted to cast an actor with a Pan-India appeal in a negative role, as in his opinion, the story had the potential to breach the regional barrier, and that’s when Akshay Kumar’s name came to his mind. After discussing the script as well the character, Kumar readily agreed to be a part of the film. While Rajinikanth will be seen essaying the iconic character of Chitti, Akshay Kumar will be a scientist who turns into a crow after an experiment goes wrong.
The post-production of 2.0 is currently going on at several VFX studios across the globe and the movie is being made on a humongous budget of 350 crore, thereby being the costliest Indian film till date. The new release date of 2.0 is expected to be announced soon, however, speculations are rife that the film would release during the Diwali 2018 weekend.
2.0 also stars Amy Jackson in a pivotal role.