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Updated February 4th, 2024 at 18:58 IST

DYK Rajkumar Hirani Was To Direct 12th Fail But THIS Changed Vidhu Vinod Chopra's Heart

Vidhu Vinod Chopra shared in detail how the process for 12th Fail truly began, from the officer approaching him to Rajkumar Hirani directing the film.

12th Fail team
12th Fail team | Image:Varinder Chawla
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Vidhu Vinod Chopra is basking in the success of his recently released film 12th Fail, starring Vikrant Massey and Medha Shankr. The film completed 100 days in theatres on Saturday and marked the day with a grand celebration. The event was attended by IPS Manoj Kumar Sharma and his wife IRS Shraddha Joshi. During the bash, the director was asked about how the process truly began and Chopra shared in detail how the officer approached him, from not reading the book for six months to Rajkumar Hirani directing the film.

Yes, Chopra revealed that initially Rajkumar Hirani was supposed to helm the project for him but Vikrant's first shot inspired him to be the director of the film.

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(A photo from the event | Varinder Chawla)
(A photo from the event | Varinder Chawla)

When IPS Manoj Kumar Sharma approached Vidhu Vinod Chopra to direct the film

Chopra recalled that it started when Sharma approached him with the book by Anurag Pathak (12th Fail) and asked him if he could direct a film based on it. “The book was called 12th Fail. Being who I am, I told him if I read, I will take two days because I am a slow reader, and if I find it ‘bakwaas’ then you will have to publish that as well! He started laughing and requested if I could send the book to few people, like Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Rajkumar Hirani and others, and I sent it."

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(A photo from the event | Varinder Chawla)
(A photo from the event | Varinder Chawla)

Six months later, Manoj again approached the director but this time with the printed book. While going through, he found Sachin Tendulkar had written highly of it behind its cover and so did Raju Hirani. On seeing this, he immediately called Raju and asked him about the book, to which the Dunki director said, "Sir please read, it is a movie!".

"Back then, I wasn’t in the mood to make a film. I asked him if he would make it, so Raju told me he was already writing a film but if I wrote the film, he would direct it. I was ok with this,” continued Chopra.

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What inspired Vidhu Vinod Chopra to be the director of 12th Fail?

It was after his conversation with Raju Hirani that he started reading the book and "slowly got involved". While he was writing the script of the film, he fell in love. He told Raju Hirani about the actors and he suggested Vikrant. "I had seen his A Death in the Gunj and I really liked him. I stay three hours away from Mumbai, and he came there for two-three days," he added.

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(A still from the film | Image: Instagram)
(A still from the film | Image: Instagram)

"I remember in my study, I was figuring out the first shot. I wondered how would he play a young guy in the initial portions of the film. Then he went into a child pose–I hope we have footage of that–and it is exactly the first shot of the film, when he is cheating. This actor inspired me to direct this film,” he concluded.

12th Fail opened to widespread response from the critics, audience and celebs, especially for Vikrant's performance. Despite clashing with Tejas, the film turned out to be a sleeper hit by grossing Rs 67 crore worldwide.

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Published February 4th, 2024 at 18:58 IST

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