You would think Abhishek Bachchan would be the first, last and natural choice to play Amitabh Bachchan's role in a new-age remake of the 1990's cult gangster film Agneepath. In fact it was presumed by a very large section of the entertainment industry that Abhishek would play the eponymous part of Vijay Dinanath Chauvan while Jaya Bachchan will play Vijay's mother played with such brilliant poignancy by Rohini Hattangadi in the original directed by the late Mukul Anand.
However, it has now come to light that Abhishek was never offered the lead in the Agneepath remake. Says a source, "When the idea of re-making Agneepath came to Karan Johar, he had right away locked in on Hrithik Roshan. It was a commitment to the actor who is very keen to give his own interpretation to the character. Hrithik will play it closer to Al Pacino in Scarface than Mr. Bachchan in Agneepath."
Agneepath, it would be recalled, was deeply influenced by Scarface. The neo-Agneepath, written and directed by debutant Karan Malhotra purports to pay homage to Scarface. While refusing to discuss the cast, producer Karan Johar says, "All I can say at the moment is that my Agneepath is radically different from the Agneepath that my father (the late producer Yash Johar) has produced. We've completely done away with the South Indian character played by Mithun Chakraborty in the original."
With that bit of information, Mithun' s dreams of seeing his son Mimoh cast on the role he originally played also goes up in flames. Karan Johar's Agneepath would be a solo act featuring Roshan who apparently will experiment with the rasping dialogue-delivery that Mr. Bachchan had attempted in the original Agneepath.
Many thought it was his gravelly way of speaking in Agneepath that did the picture in. Hrithik is determined to prove all the self-appointed soothsayers wrong.
Says Karan, "My father was very proud of Agneepath. I hope I don't let him down with my Agneepath. Amitji had won the National Award for Agneepath. It's a tough act to follow for any actor."