When Vidhu Vinod Chopra Refused To Make Munna Bhai With Sanjay Dutt: “I’ll never make a film with you, I just announced it"
Vidhu Vinod Chopra Opened Up About Not Wanting To Work With Sanjay Dutt In Munna Bhai. (Photo Credit – IMDb/Instagram)

Munna Bhai is the role of a lifetime, and no one could have done it better than Sanjay Dutt. As people know, he was not the first choice for Munna Bhai, but Shah Rukh Khan was. However, things did not work out, which led to Sanju Baba’s life-changing role. Hoverwe, Producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra recently recalled that he would never make the film with Sanjay Dutt but just wanted to support him because he went to jail. The 12th Fail director also revealed that Sanjay Dutt was ready to do anything to make a comeback in the films. Here’s what happened!

Filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra has spoken about the circumstances surrounding Sanjay Dutt’s casting in the role of his life, Munna Bhai. Chopra explained that the entire industry banned the actor at the time after being convicted in a terrorism case, but Vidhu did not believe this was the right thing to do. He said he had signed up for a project to show solidarity with the troubled star. Dutt was initially supposed to play the role, but it eventually went to Jimmy Shergill.

Vidhu Vinod admitted that he did not want Sanjay Dutt in the film, so when the actor was released from jail and ready to work, he told him they would have to wait until they worked together. “Sanjay Dutt went to jail. I didn’t know him at all. The whole industry banned him, but I thought this was wrong, so I went to his house and made a film with him. His father said I’d be banned as well, but I said, ‘I don’t care,’” Chopra said.

Vidhu Vinod Chopra reflected that Dutt was willing to do anything and wanted to work. “Then, Sanjay Dutt comes out of jail. I remember him calling me from the car. He said he wanted to meet, and he wanted his first comeback film to be with me. I told him, ‘I’ll never make a film with you; I just announced it because it was the right thing to do.’ He’s a straightforward man. A good man but a simple man. He thought the announcement meant that we were going to work together. I said, ‘I cannot make a film with you unless the equation changes because I cannot exploit a good deed.’ It’s a terrible thing to do that you do something good and exploit it.”

(Photo Credit – IMDb)

Sanjay Dutt, too, struggled to grasp the film’s concept. Chopra admitted. “So when I told him to play Jimmy Shergill, he agreed. He stated, ‘Anything’. Then, Shah Rukh, of course, came to me and he had a throat thing… So, I decided that Sanjay Dutt was the right guy. I told him, ‘You’re doing Munna Bhai’. And he’s such a simple fellow, he said, ‘I know’. I said, ‘No, not that role, main Munna Bhai.’ He said, ‘Okay if you say so, I’ll do it’. He never reads a script…”

But the fascinating part is that this would lead to a collaboration that would become a dream team. Rajkumar Hirani, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, and Sanjay Dut, who then worked on Lage Raho Munna Bhai and even in PK, eventually made a biopic about Sanjay’s life.

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