Sanju producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra said that he wanted to cast Ranveer Singh but Rajkumar Hirani wanted Ranbir Kapoor to play Sanjay Dutt
Ranbir Kapoor as Sanjay Dutt in Sanju has impressed one and all. Even Sanjay Dutt feels that Ranbir had done a 'fantastic job.' But Ranbir Kapoor wasn't the first choice for Sanju. Yes, you read that right. In an interview to The Telegraph, producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra has revealed that he wanted to cast Ranveer Singh but director Rajkumar Hirani wanted Ranbir to play Sanjay Dutt. "It was Raju's idea to cast Ranbir. When he told me about Ranbir, I wasn't happy at all. I thought someone else, like Ranveer Singh, could play this role much better. I thought Ranveer had the flamboyance, the emotional depth as well as the ability to change himself completely to play Sanjay Dutt," he said.
"But Raju was adamant that Ranbir would be perfect. And when we started shooting and Ranbir became Sanjay Dutt, I had to kind of eat my words. I think I can best sum this up by saying that Ranbir has become Sanjay Dutt both in swagger and soul," Mr Chopra added.
In the pictures that had surface online from the films sets and in the trailer, Ranbir bears an uncanny resemblance with Sanjay Dutt and it's sometimes hard to differentiate between them. Sanju traces the journey of Sanjay Dutt from the age of 20 till now and Ranbir has aced them all.
Meanwhile, Vidhu Vinod Chopra also said that he had said 'no' to Rajkumar Hirani when he discussed the idea of making a film on Sanjay Dutt. "Yes, I did. When he told me, I was like, 'What's there in Sanjay Dutt's life that merits being made into a film?! It's better you make a film on my life... how I left Kashmir as a young boy and struggled when I came to Bombay.' (Laughs) I thought Raju and Abhijat (Joshi, Sanju's co-writer) had lost their minds," he told The Telegraph.
It was earlier reported that when Rajkumar Hirani went to discuss Munna Bhai 3 with Sanjay Dutt, he came up with the idea of making a film on the actor's life. Of the whole story, Mr Chopra told The Telegraph, "At that time, Sanjay Dutt had just come out of jail and Raju had gone to speak to him about the next Munna Bhai film. We were then planning to make Munna Bhai Chale Jail and I sent Raju to speak to Sanju and get some inputs from him. But Raju came back with something else."
"But when he sat me down and started narrating all that had happened in Sanju's life, I was stunned! At first, I thought it was hogwash... that Sanju was somehow not telling Raju the truth, but when we started researching all that he's said - from the 308 girlfriends he had to how he begged on the streets of US for the money to buy a bus ticket - we realised that everything he had told us was true," he added.
About the scene in Sanju,when Ranbir as Dutt shares a jaadu ki jhappi with Paresh Rawal, who plays Sunil Dutt, (originally picturised in Munna Bhai MBBS) Vidhu Vinod Chopra told The Telegraph that the father-daughter duo had actually cried and so, they decided to retain it in Sanju too.
"When the film was being written, I discovered a Sanjay Dutt I didn't know... a Sunil Dutt I didn't know... and this after having known them for 20-25 years. I was stunned to know that the scene in Munna Bhai MBBS when Dutt saab and Sanju cry after the son asks the father's forgiveness and they hug each other was actually real... that they were crying for real. Imagine I was standing there on the set of Munna Bhai and I had no idea they were actually living that scene! We have kept it in the film," Mr Chopra told The Telegraph.
Sanju, also starring Manisha Koirala, Sonam Kapoor, Dia Mirza, Anushka Sharma and Vicky Kaushal, releases on June 29.