Salman Khan has been making it to the headlines for his recent box-office hit, Bharat. The film was helmed by Ali Abbas Zafar and starred Katrina Kaif alongside Khan. The superstar is currently shooting for the third installment of the hit cop franchise, Dabangg. The cop series has seen Bhaijaan pulling off the perfect Chulbul Pandey in both the prequels. And after witnessing Khan’s spectacular performance in both the films, it’s hard to imagine any other actor who would’ve played the character better than him.
However, to everyone’s surprise, Salman was not the first choice to play the iconic character of Chulbul Pandey in the cop drama! As per a report in Mumbai Mirror, Abhinav Kashyap, who directed the first Dabang film, was keen on casting either Irrfan Khan or Randeep Hooda for the role.
In a conversation with the news daily, producer Arbaaz Khan revealed the same stating, “When Abhinav narrated the script to me, I asked him why he wasn’t offering me the role of the Robin Hood cop. But more than Chulbul, he saw me as Makkhi, which was an extension of my role in Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na. He was looking to cast Randeep Hooda or Irrfan Khan as the lead then but neither of them had been finalised. I offered to produce the film for him and asked him what if we got Salman on board as Pandey ji. He was instantly excited and things quickly fell in place.”
The actor-producer also spilled some beans about the casting of Mahesh Manjrekar's daughter, Saiee Manjrekar, who is making her Bollywood debut with Dabangg 3. He said, “Salman has known Saiee for a while. He was sure she fits the bill perfectly as an innocent young girl and after seeing her perform, we know she’s exactly what we wanted for Dabangg 3.”
Arbaaz also revealed that the team has completed shooting 60 percent of the film and will be wrapping up the shoot by September, this year.
Directed by PrabhuDeva, Dabangg 3 marks the second collaboration between the director and Khan after Wanted. The film also stars Sonakshi Sinha and Kichcha Sudeepa in key roles and is slated to hit the screens on December 20, 2019.