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Munnabhai's voice scrapped

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Sanjay Dutt
With Irrfan Khan finally taking over Sanjay Dutt's role in Sanjay Gupta's autobiographical Alibaug, there are further tragic developments in the ongoing saga of the severed friendship between Sanjay Dutt and Sanjay Gupta. The elegiac love song that Gupta recorded in Dutt's voice for Sanjay Dutt will now have to be scrapped.

"We'll have to get it done by a professional playback singer now," informs Gupta hours before the shooting resumes at an art gallery in Mumbai. "It won't be correct to have Sanjay Dutt's voice for Irrfan." Irrfan says he wouldn't mind lip-syncing to Dutt's voice. "But the only problem is, Sanjay Dutt has such a strong personality and image, and a voice to match. Audiences will immediately identify his voice and refuse to accept it as my voice. So I'd think a playback singer for me would be far more preferable."

So what happens to the footage and song from Alibaug featuring Mr. Dutt? "I guess it's of archival importance. One day I hope to sit down with my near and dear ones and look at what we shot and recorded as proof of how much Sanjay Dutt and I shared once," says Gupta. Interestingly, in spite of the Dutt-Gupta rift, Sanjay Dutt's special appearance in Gupta's Woodstock Villa was retained. "But that's because the song was filmed on Sanjay Dutt. Here we cannot go in the reverse direction and have Irrfan singing in Sanjay Dutt's voice," Gupta concludes.

Alibaug isn't the only White Feather film where Irrfan has replaced Sanjay Dutt. The role in Acid Factory that Irrfan did was also written for Dutt. In fact, promos with Dutt were shot. Does Irrfan enjoy replacing Dutt in Gupta's production house? "I don't see it that way at all," protests Irrfan. "No one can replace Sanjay Dutt. He has such a unique personality voice and body language. I can only bring my own personality into the roles and make them something quite different."

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