John Abraham reluctantly but firmly said no to Karan's offer to play the male lead in the desi version of Chris Columbus's Stepmom.
Karan had given John a big break in Kaal a few years ago. And nobody can deny the recent Dharma dhamaka Dostana was a turning-point for John's career.
After Saif, then John was approached to play the lead opposite Kajol and Kareena Kapoor in the desi version of Stepmom. John almost agreed then opted out. Reason? He didn't see himself doing much in a film that already started two powerhouse actresses, both natural-born scene stealers.
Says a source, "Karan had almost convinced John to do the role. He even promised that the husband's role in the Indian Stepmom would be far more substantial than what Ed Harris did in the original. But John is at a stage in his career where he wants to make all the right career moves. He feels, as an outsider in the industry, he has made a place that must be respected," says a source close to John.
"John is finally learning to say no to projects even if they come from big banners and if he isn't convinced that he'd get proper performing space. In Dostana, he went along with the salespitch that Abhishek was the 'actor' while John was the 'body'. But in Dostana 2, John will make sure he will be the actor and the body. He's working hard on it."
The latest on Stepmom is that it's yet to be acquired for remake by Dharma Productions. Says Karan Johar, "The modalities for that are still being worked out. Until the contract is signed I wouldn't want to comment on it. Stepmom was released in the same year as my directorial debut Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and I loved it. I look forward to developing it if the modalities are worked out. You of course know Kajol and Kareena Kapoor are expected to play the two roles."
In the meanwhile, the other Karan favourite Arjun Rampal who did a walk-on part in Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna has agreed to step into Stepmom, if and when it gets made.