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Updated December 19th, 2023 at 16:27 IST

Not Munna Bhai, Sanjay Dutt was initially offered this role in Rajkumar Hirani's film

Munna Bhai was supposed to be made with a different actor. This was director Rajkumar Hirani's debut film and he could not get the star he had in mind onboard.

Sanjay Dutt as Munna Bhai
Sanjay Dutt as Munna Bhai | Image:YouTube screengrab
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Sanjay Dutt's iconic comedy film Munna Bhai has completed 20 years since its release. The movie not only saved the lead actor's sinking career in Bollywood after a slew of flops but also gave the film industry one of its biggest hits. On the occasion of its 20th anniversary, we take a look back at how originally, Sajay was not cast in the titular role.

A still from Munna Bhai | Image: YouTube screengrab

DYK this casting trivia from Munna Bhai?

Munna Bhai was supposed to be made with a different actor. This was director Rajkumar Hirani's debut film and he could not get the star he had in mind onboard the project. Another reason for the actor to turn down the film was his back injury due to which they could not associate with the project.

A still from Munna Bhai | Image: YouTube screengrab

At the same time, Sanjay Dutt, who eventually played the leading role in the film was offered the part of Zaheer, which eventually went to Jimmy Shergill. Another interesting thing to note is that the popular character of Circuit, eventually essayed by Arshad Warsi, was first offered Makrand Deshpande.

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Munna Bhai team celebrates 20 years of film

Munna Bhai chronicles the story of an affable goon, Munna bhai (Dutt), and his sidekick Circuit, played by Arshad Warsi. Munna Bhai MBBS, which also features Sanjay's father, cinema icon Sunil Dutt, as well as Gracy Singh, Boman Irani, Rohini Hattangadi and Jimmy Sheirgill, was a major success at the box office and has amassed a dedicated fan following over the years.

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Dutt shared a throwback video of the movie on social media platform X and wrote, "Two decades of laughter, emotions, and a whole lot of jadoo ki jhappi! Celebrating 20 years of Munna Bhai MBBS, a journey filled with unforgettable moments."  Arshad Warsi also marked the occasion on social media.

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Munna Bhai MBBS was followed by a 2006 sequel Lage Raho Munna Bhai, which was equally praised by critics and fans. It also starred Vidya Balan with Dia Mirza and Abhishek Bachchan appearing in cameo roles. The makers had released a teaser video for the third part more than 10 years ago but the project continues to be in limbo.   

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Published December 19th, 2023 at 16:27 IST

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