Akshay Kumar’s menacing avatar from 2.0 has made heads turn ever since the film’s trailer was released.
But the role was earlier meant for Hollywood action star Arnold Schwarzenegger.
During the launch of the song ‘Tu Hi Re’ from the movie yesterday, director Shankar revealed why Schwarzenegger could not do the film and how the role went to Akshay Kumar finally.
The film 2.0, sequel to Enthiran / Robot (2010), deals with the theme of mobile phone radiation harming the environment. “The theme is international because everyone has a cell phone. Anyone from any part of the world could connect with the movie because of the [theme of] cell phone [radiation],” Shankar said.
Hence, the producers approached Schwarzenegger for the villain’s role. Apparently, the Hollywood star was keen to do the film.
“I was thinking of making this film a little [more] international,” said Shankar. “So, we had thought of casting Arnold Schwarzenegger. We had talks [with him] also. He even allotted us dates.”
However, a strange mix-up ensured he could not come on board. “Somehow things didn’t fall in place,” said the director, “because contracts in Hollywood and Indian contracts are contradictory.” He did not elaborate.
Revealing how Akshay Kumar came on board, he said, “Then we began looking for a good cast from our Indian industry. At that time Lyca Productions [one of the producers of 2.0] was planning a remake of the Tamil movie Kaththi (2014) in Hindi. Talks were on between Akshay sir and Lyca. At that time the thought came and everybody thought how about Akshay sir doing this role? I said that will be nice.”
The story goes that Aditya Chopra had initially wanted to cast Tom Cruise as the protagonist in his directorial debut Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995). Cruise could not do the film and the Hollywood star’s loss became Shah Rukh Khan’s gain and went on to be one of India’s biggest blockbusters of all time.
Will Schwarzenegger’s loss be Akshay Kumar’s gain? We can only wait and watch.