Back in late 2000’s, Shah Rukh Khan in an interview revealed that every director wants to work with him, and every second script that is written has been offered to the superstar. The actor also confessed that he has been the first choice for a lot of films, however owing to time constraints he missed out on quite a few films that proved to be game changers for the film industry. On the other hand, in the early 90’s, Shah Rukh Khan took up quite a lot of films that were rejected by other stars, and eventually helped him climb the ladder of success.
Shah Rukh Khan’s career has been like a seesaw wherein he accepted some rejected films and rejected some films eventually accepted by others. First, let’s have a look at the rejected films that SRK accepted:
Shah Rukh Khan’s debut film was initially supposed to star Armaan Kohli in lead. Such was curiosity around the film that the producers had also let out big posters of the film featuring Armaan Kohli. The actor eventually had a fall-out with the producers, owing to which he had to be replaced with Shah Rukh Khan. And well, it is Deewana that introduced the actor, who became one of the biggest superstars of Indian cinema. We should actually thank Armaan Kohli for stepping out of the film.
2. Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa:
The Kunal Shah directorial was initially planned with Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla with Shah Rukh Khan as Chris, essaying the second lead in the film. The tables eventually turned and SRK bagged the main lead in the film.
Abbas Mustan had narrated the script to Salman Khan, who agreed to come on board on the condition that the director duo incorporates an emotional sub-text in the film. However, things didn’t really work out, following which the duo approached Shah Rukh Khan for the film, who readily agreed to come on board. As they say, some stars are destined to be a part of some films.
This is an incident which most of us would be knowing. Yash Chopra had initially conceptualized the film with Aamir Khan and Sunny Deol in lead, however Khan had some script issues due to which he decided to walk out. Well, the rest is history. Shah Rukh Khan came on board to essay the character of an obsessed lover and left a mark with the powerful performances.
5. Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman:
Back in 1991, Aziz Mirza was planning to back a slice of life film with Aamir Khan in lead. Things however didn’t work out and next he approach Vivek Mushran, who was touted to be the rising star back then. Again, there was some conflict between the two taking scripts, and finally Aziz Mirza found his Raju in Shah Rukh Khan.
6. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge:
This is another film whose casting process is known to everyone. Aditya Chopra was initially planning to make a foreign language love story with Tom Cruise in lead however he dropped the idea and decided to go ahead with a full-fledged Hindi feature film. Saif Ali Khan was the first choice to essay the lead character, who rejected the role citing that the role was too urban for him and finally it landed in Shah Rukh Khan’s kitty.
7. Karan Arjun:
Yet another iconic film of Shah Rukh Khan’s career was not really offered to him at first. Rakesh Roshan had conceptualized the reincarnation drama with Ajay Devgn and Sunny Deol in lead, however Deol eventually opted out of the film citing date issues. Shah Rukh Khan replaced Deol in the film, however it was Ajay Devgn who left the film next as he wasn’t too comfortable to share the screen with Shah Rukh Khan. It was finally that Salman Khan came on board to get the film back on track.
8. Chak De India:
Director Shimit Amin was initially planning Chak De India with Salman Khan in lead, however Khan didn’t sign on for it because he had some issues with the climax. The director next approached Shah Rukh Khan, who loved the script and instantly came on board.
Director Aanand L Rai had conceptualized the unique concept of Zero with Salman Khan in mind and the director even had several rounds of narration with the superstar. However, Salman didn’t want to do something as challenging as Zero after taking up a physically exhausting film like Sultan. Khan didn’t take up the offer, following which Rai approached Shah Rukh Khan, who fell in love with the character as we as concept.
10. Saare Jahan Se Acha:
Sidharth Roy Kapur in the past confirmed that Aamir Khan was the first choice for this Rakesh Sharma Biopic, however the owing to reasons best known to the team, things didn’t really work out and Aamir Khan walked out of it. Ever since then, the speculations are rife that Shah Rukh Khan has replaced the Aamir Khan in the film and will start shooting from February 2019.
In the second article from this series, we shall speak about 25 films that Shah Rukh Khan rejected. Stay Tuned.