Shah Rukh Khan refused Wanted in favor of Mahesh Babu, here's how Salman Khan got roped in

Today on the 13th anniversary of Wanted, a film which changed Salman Khan’s image in Bollywood, here’s a look back at how the superstar bagged the lead role.

Shah Rukh Khan refused Wanted in favor of Mahesh Babu, here's how Salman Khan got roped in

Boney Kapoor ’s 2009 film Wanted was a milestone in Salman Khan ’s career. He was going through a rough phase with two years of back to back commercial failures like Shaadi Karke Phas Gaya Yaar, God Tussi Great Ho and Yuvvraaj amongst others. But Wanted, helmed by Prabhu Deva, changed his life. It was his first hit after a really long time and gave him a brand new image of an action hero in Bollywood. Well, did you know that Salman was not actually the first choice for the film?

King of romance Shah Rukh Khan was actually the first hero to be approached for the lead role. However he refused the offer. As we know, Wanted is a remake of South superstar Mahesh Babu ’s Telugu film Pokiri. SRK believed that nobody could play the lead better than Mahesh, and he did not want to copy latter’s style which is why he decided to decline the action entertainer. The role then went to Salman, who agreed to do Wanted only as a favor to producer Boney.

Many years ago, Salman was signed on for Boney Kapoor’s film Milenge Milenge for an extended cameo. However, the actor decided to opt out because of some differences with lead pair Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor Khan. So Salman actually agreed to headline Wanted to make up for it, no questions asked. How crazy is that? The film not only changed his life but also was one of the most successful releases for his co-star Ayesha Takia. Interestingly, even Ayesha wasn’t the first choice for Wanted. While Asin Thottumkal had to decline the offer because of other commitments, actress Ileana D'Cruz couldn’t take up the film as she had her exams.

Well, things definitely worked out for the best in the end!