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Raju Hirani admits Aamir Khan was offered the role of Sunil Dutt in Sanju

The Sanju director was keen to work again with the 3 Idiots (2009) and PK (2014) superstar, but Khan was already committed to Dangal (2016).

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Mayur Lookhar

Filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani has finally confirmed the longstanding rumour that he had offered to Aamir Khan the pivotal role of Sanjay Dutt's father, the late filmstar-politician Sunil Dutt, in the forthcoming biopic Sanju.

Khan and Hirani have worked together in the past, giving us two of the finest Hindi films of the third millennium. And after 3 Idiots (2009) and PK (2014), fans would certainly have loved to see them work together again.

Getting Aamir Khan into the Sanjay Dutt biopic would also have been a casting coup because he and Sanju lead actor Ranbir Kapoor have never worked in a film together except for minor cameos in Luck By Chance (2009) and PK (2014).

However, it was not to be, as Khan had already signed on for Dangal (2016) in which he played an ageing wrestler who pushes his daughters into the ring.

Speaking to the website Outlookindia.com, Hirani said, “Aamir is a friend. Any script I write, I bounce it off him. When I narrated Sanju to him, he loved it and said mai bhi kuch karta hoon [I, too, should be in it].”

That was when Hirani asked Khan to take up the role of Sunil Dutt, but "he was already playing an elderly man in Dangal around the same time”. Khan had begun shooting for Dangal in 2015 and eventually the role of Sunil Dutt went to Paresh Rawal.

Hirani had conceived of the Dutt biopic while filming PK. Sanjay Dutt was out on parole and it was during one long conversation that the actor, star of the Munna Bhai films directed by Hirani, opened up to the filmmaker like never before.

Starring Ranbir Kapoor in the titular role, Sanju is set to be released on 29 June.