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Shah Rukh Khan as Dawood Ibrahim? Ram Gopal Varma once wanted King Khan to play gangster role in his film

Filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma recalled in an interview that he desired Shah Rukh Khan to essay Dawood Ibrahim in his blockbuster film Company.

Shah Rukh Khan as Dawood Ibrahim? Ram Gopal Varma once wanted King Khan to play gangster role in his film RBA
First Published Jun 23, 2024, 9:26 AM IST

Ram Gopal Varma, aka RGV, shocked everyone when he revealed that his first casting suggestions for the 2002 gangster movie 'Company' did not feature Ajay Devgn or Vivek Oberoi. Instead, he sought Shah Rukh Khan for the part of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, having originally envisioned Abhishek Bachchan playing the character based on Chhota Rajan. Furthermore, Varma contemplated casting Kamal Haasan in the part, which was eventually performed by Mohanlal.

In a new video posted on his YouTube account, filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma delves into his film Company, analysing key sequences and providing insight into the casting process. Varma claimed that he had originally intended to cast Shah Rukh Khan as Dawood Ibrahim rather than Ajay Devgn as Malik. 

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He explained, “At one point of time, I wanted Shah Rukh. I met Shah Rukh, he was excited. I wanted Shah Rukh for Dawood. But I felt that he’s very hyper; his energy, the way he is… That’s what people like. I thought, to make him very subtle – not moving at all and very silent — I thought it would look very odd on screen. Which is the reason I didn’t pursue. I just had one meeting with him, but I didn’t pursue him because I just felt that his body language is wrong for the part.”

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He also added, “There is an actor and there is a performer. Shah Rukh is a performer. He’s hyperactive, which is what endears the audience to him. So, this lazy guy, sitting in the back… This is Ajay’s natural body language. So, that’s when I thought Ajay is more perfect for the role, and that’s when it happened.”

Ram Gopal Varma discussed the casting selections for the character of Chandu and the Mumbai police commissioner in his film, Company, sharing his perspective on the actors chosen for these parts. "Initially, I intended to approach Kamal for the part. I met him too. However, I experienced the same issue as with Shah Rukh. In a realistic picture, their natural celebrity will appear disproportionate. Because of this, I changed my mind and approached Mohanlal," he explained.

Building on his previous triumphs, Ram Gopal Varma's film Company was the second installment of a trilogy of interconnected gangster flicks that began with Satya and continued to D, directed by Vishram Sawant. While Shah Rukh Khan was considered for a mobster part in Company before declining, he later played a similar character in the film Raees, which earned negative reviews and failed to achieve box office projections. 

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