Ikkis: Sriram Raghavan reveals real reason behind Agastya Nanda replacing Varun Dhawan for Arun Khetarpal's role
Sriram Raghavan revealed that initially Varun Dhawan was playing Arun Khetarpal but after the pandemic he told him that he won't suit the part.
Filmmaker Sriram Raghavan is all set to present a coming-of-age drama, Ikkis, based on the life of the youngest Param Vir Chakra recipient Arun Khetarpal. The filmmaker has roped in his Badlapur star Varun Dhawan for Khetarpal’s role, however, he replaced him with Amitabh Bachchan’s grandson Agastya Nanda. He said that Agastya fulfills all the aspects of the role whether it be looks and height.
Sriram said that he had signed the film before Agastya's debut film, The Archies. “We wanted a new, fresh boy. Arun Khetarpal was a good-looking boy, six-inch (tall) or something, and Agastya has got the height, look, everything. Right now, he is undergoing training. We will start with him in February,” he said. Further, he revealed why he replaced Varun saying, “Initially, it had Varun Dhawan and then after the pandemic we had a chat about how he won’t suit (the part),” he was quoted as saying to PTI.
Further, Sriram elaborated on the film’s plotline and said that he will not focus on the fantasy version of Khetarpal’s life story. “It is not like this was his childhood and all that. It is about this young officer, who was martyred two months after his 21st birthday. It’s during this time when a boy becomes a man. Then something happens 30 years later, which is again interesting… It is a bigger production, there will be tank battles, and all those things that happen in a war film. But it is also a human story, it’s a drama, a coming-of-age kind of a thing,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ikkis also has veteran actor Dharmendra. Talking about him, Sriram said that He has shot a bit of the film where Dharmendra is playing Khetarpal’s father. Bankrolled by Dinesh Vijan under his banner Maddock Films, the film is set to go on floors next month. Sriram last directed Merry Christmas featuring Katrina Kaif and Vijay Sethupathi in lead roles. The film received positive response from critics but failed to make a mark at the box office.