25 Years Of Karan Arjun: Shah Rukh Khan Had Walked Out Of The Film, Here's Why He Rejoined!

    25 Years Of Karan Arjun: Shah Rukh Khan Had Walked Out Of The Film, Here's Why He Rejoined!

    SRK Walked Out Of Karan Arjun, Returned Back For This Reason

    25 Years Of Karan Arjun: Shah Rukh Khan Had Walked Out Of The Film, Here's Why He Rejoined!

    “Mere Karan Arjun ayenge, mere Karan Arjun zaroor ayenge.”

    It has been 25 years since this iconic dialogue played out in theatres on the big screen. Who can forget Rakhi yearning for her dead sons as Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan emerge as the long lost brothers in the reincarnation drama. Their pair became superhit and till now, we have been yearning to see SRK and Salman share the screen space throughout a film. But did you know, this epic Salman-SRK ‘bandhan’ was super close to not happening.

    Shah Rukh Khan had been originally cast in the film alongside Ajay Devgn. But, as director Rakesh Roshan has revealed, SRK wanted to play Karan and Ajay wanted to play Arjun. When Rakesh Roshan refused, they both walked out of the film. It was also partly because the actors weren’t convinced with the script. SRK returned back when he heard that Roshan had planned to cast Salman Khan and Aamir Khan. Aamir understood the situation and backed off. Rakesh Roshan had said that SRK did not believe in the film till its release and when Karan Arjun had a tremendous impact at the box-office, SRK had to admit that he was wrong and Rakesh Roshan was right about his conviction. Here is what he said,

    The original choice of actors was Shah Rukh Khan and Ajay Devgn. But they were not happy with their respective parts and wanted to switch. So Shah Rukh wanted to play Karan while Ajay desired to essay Arjun. However, I refused to do so. Hence, they both backed out of the film. Basically, they were not convinced with the story and the reincarnation element. Not just them, most people I narrated the story to were not convinced. My friends and my technicians in the crew argued that such kind of plot won’t be digested. In love stories, it was digested before. But with Karan Arjun, it was more about mother-son bond with a touch of reincarnation. But I had full belief in the subject. I argued that when a mother, whose sons were brutally killed, says that “Mere bete ayenge”, even if they would have come from Mars or Jupiter, it would have been accepted!

    I was very confident but my actors were not. So they left the film. I then approached Salman Khan and Aamir Khan and both jumped at the script. However, Aamir made it clear that he was shooting some movie at that point and that he can start only six months later. But I couldn’t have waited for so long. Meanwhile, Shah Rukh found out that Salman and Aamir have shown interest. This is when he came back to me. He said sorry and insisted that he wants to do the film. And his dates were available. So, I went to Aamir and explained him the situation. Also, I had worked with Shah Rukh before – you can say that I gave him a break in King Uncle. Aamir understood and this is how the male lead actors of the film were locked!

    Till the end, Shah Rukh was not convinced with the idea of Karan Arjun. He categorically told me, “Rakesh ji, whatever you’re instructing, I am following it. But I still have apprehensions about the story.” When the film released and got tremendous appreciation, Shah Rukh apologized and admitted that I was right with my conviction.

    Well, we can’t even imagine what would have happened had Karan Arjun not turned out the way ut did. But there is no denying that this film created history and has attained a cult status!

    Updated: January 13, 2020 05:13 PM IST