In the last article, we spoke about the films for which Shah Rukh Khan was NOT the first choice, and now we come up with 23 films which were first offered to the superstar, but he didn’t sign on for them due to the reasons best known to him. While the popular films which Khan rejected are mentioned below, we would majorly focus on the films that were offered to Shah Rukh Khan first that not many would be aware about. And they include some interesting names apart from the usual ones like Munnabhai MBBS, Lagaan, Robot, and 3 Idiots.
Check out the list below of the films that SRK rejected:
A casting coup of sorts was supposed to happen when director Indra Kumar approached Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan for the film. While Aamir Khan came on board, Shah Rukh Khan was reluctant to do the film, as in the early days of his career, he didn’t want his filmography to be filled with two hero films. Ishq eventually got made with Aamir Khan and Ajay Devgn.
2. Hero No. 1:
David Dhawan had narrated the script of a comedy film to Shah Rukh Khan, which the actor rejected thinking that it wasn’t something that would suit his image among the audience. Later on David narrated the same to Govinda and titled it Hero No.1, thereby taking the No. 1 franchise forward. With Shah Rukh Khan, the same story was supposed to be made with a different name.
3. Yes Boss:
While Shah Rukh Khan was always the first choice for this film, the superstar had initially rejected the role citing date issues, following which the producers approached Saif Ali Khan to play the lead who wasn’t really convinced with the script. Finally the film got made with SRK in lead.
4. Main Khiladi Tu Anari:
Banking high on the success of Khiladi, the producers wanted to take the franchise to the next level by signing Shah Rukh Khan alongside Akshay Kumar aka. Khiladi in the film. Khan, though loved the script was reluctant to do the film because he felt that the two didn’t really call for two gen-next stars. Eventually, he left the film and was replaced by Saif Ali Khan.
Shah Rukh Khan had become one of the most sellable names of the Hindi film industry in a short span of time and every producer wanted to work with him. JP Dutta approached Shah Rukh Khan for the character of Dharamvir Singh in the film, however the superstar rejected the role as he felt the impact of his character would be diluted by others, who have a stronger role. The role was eventually done by Akshaye Khanna.
After working on Pardes, Subhash Ghai wanted to work with Shah Rukh Khan yet again in a quintessential love story – Taal. After several discussions, Khan didn’t take up the role citing script issues, and was replaced by Akshaye Khanna.
7. Purab Ka Laila Paschim Ka Chaila:
The film, which never released in the theatres was planned with Shah Rukh Khan and Suniel Shetty in lead, however Khan opted out of the film owing to script issues. The film later on went on floors with Akshay Kumar and Suniel Shetty, but the shoot was halted due to monetary problems. Till date, it has not seen a release.
After working on Baazigar, Abbas Mustan made several attempts to team up with Shah Rukh Khan again. The 1998 action thriller, Soldier was initially planned with Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol in lead, however eventually got made with Bobby Deol and Preity Zinta. The reason for Shah Rukh Khan’s exit from the film is not known yet.
9. Kaho Na Pyaar Hai:
The Rakesh Roshan directorial was offered to Shah Rukh Khan not once, but thrice. However, the superstar rejected the script every single time citing the reason of taking a break from romantic films to not get stereotyped. That’s when Rakesh Roshan decided to launch his son, Hrithik Roshan who became a superstar overnight.
Abbas Mustan offered yet another thriller to Shah Rukh Khan, Ajnabee. Shah Rukh Khan was offered the character of Vikram Bajaj, the role which was eventually performed with perfection by Akshay Kumar. As per the trade, reason to decline the role was the failure of SRK’s previous collaboration with Abbas Mustan on Baadshah.
While a lot believe that Robot was the first time when Shankar approached Shah Rukh Khan to play the lead role, it was back in early 2000’s that the two were supposed to collaborate on Nayak. Though Shah Rukh Khan loved the concept and he politely refuted the offer without even hearing the script as the film was a brutal take on Indian Politics. The role then went to Aamir Khan who again rejected the script citing same reason, and finally it was Anil Kapoor who came on board.
12. Mission Kashmir:
Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s dream project, Mission Kashmir was initially planned with Shah Rukh Khan and Sanjay Dutt in lead. SRK rejected the film saying that he is a totally “apolitical” person and doesn’t really wish to be a part of film that comments on the political issues of the country. Chopra signed Hrithik Roshan – The Rising Superstar, for the film, and as a mark of revenge from Shah Rukh Khan, even clashed it with Mohabattein during the Diwali weekend.
Owing to Farhan Khan, Shirish Kunder always maintained a healthy relation with Shah Rukh Khan in the 2000’s. While the director was firm on getting Salman Khan on board for the character of Suhaan, he wanted Shah Rukh Khan to portray the character of Agastya. However, Shah Rukh Khan rejected the film citing date issues, and the role eventually went to Akshay Kumar, who gave his unique touch to the film. But well, it was initially supposed to be the reunion of Karan – Arjun on the big screen after 10 long years!
14. Jodha Akhbar:
After working on Swades, Ashutosh Gowarikar wanted to make Jodha Akhbar with Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai. Khan however didn’t take up the film for two reasons i.e. not stepping into the period genre after the failure of Asoka and some conflicts with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.
15. Slumdog Millionaire:
Shah Rukh Khan is the biggest Indian movie star by a margin in the overseas market which is the reason why director, Danny Boyle wanted to make Slumdog Millionaire with Khan in the lead. However, the superstar rejected the offer as he wasn’t really convinced with the concept of showcasing the “not so good” side of India to the global audience. The movie eventually went to Anil Kapoor.
The Known Rejections:
16. Munnabhai MBBS
17. 3 Idiots
20. Rang De Basanti
22. Deewana Mastana