Earlier this month, Karan Johar's upcoming film Dostana 2 was surrounded by controversy as the production company Dharma Productions revealed that the lead actor Kartik Aaryan has opted out of the project. It was also revealed that Dharma will not be working with Kartik in any future projects as well. Soon enough, netizens begun speculating what caused the rift between the two, but Karan and Kartik haven't opened up about the same.
Now, a Bollywood Hungama report has revealed that the fall out between Karan Johar and Kartik Aaryan was due to disagreements about several projects including, Mr. Lele, Dostana 2, Shashank Khaitan's Yoddha and more. A source told the portal that Kartik had signed Dostana 2 in 2019 for a minimal amount of Rs 2-3 crore.
However, since his market value now is upside of Rs 10 crore due to several hit releases, brand endorsements and more, the actor reportedly, "asked Karan for a hike in his acting fees mid-way as his market value had gone up big time in the last two years."
Karan, on the other hand, thought, "It was unprofessional on Kartik's part to renegotiate the remuneration mid-way, he tried to compensate him with another film, Mr. Lele. Kartik also agreed to come on board the said film and was all charged up for a quirky ride," said the source.
Notably, soon after, reports revealed that Vicky Kaushal and Janhvi Kapoor were signed for Mr. Lele and Kartik was reportedly unaware of the change. He apparently was also upset that Dharma Productions did not offer him Shashank Khaitan's Yoddha, even after Shahid opted out of the film. The insider further revealed that Kartik was later offered another project instead. He reportedly was set to be part of a cricket story by Sharan Sharma, director of Gunjan Saxena.
"To avoid being dropped out of the film, Kartik asked Karan to execute and sign a contract with him," said the source. Kartik reportedly told Karan that he didn't want to start shooting for Dostana 2 till he signed a contract for Sharan's next film. Karan was upset about the lack of trust and could not commit to the film.
In the meantime, Dharma Productions decided to move on with other projects and began shooting for Mr. Lele with Vicky Kaushal and Janhvi Kapoor in April. Subsequently, Kartik informed the production house that the only dates available for Dostana 2 this year was from April onwards. The source said, "Karan was genuinely upset with Kartik as Janhvi had to pick between Dostana 2 and Mr. Lele."
"Karan felt it was unprofessional on Kartik's end to arm-twist, and this finally led to a big fall out between the two, with things going ugly." The insider said Kartik felt he was horribly underpaid for the job, and concluded by saying, "Karan had not kept the promise of signing him for a second film. All issues might have been resolved, but unprofessionalism took things to a different tangent and Karan was left with no choice but to oust him from Dostana 2."
Dharma Productions is reportedly looking for a new actor to replace Kartik Aaryan in Dostana 2 alongside Janhvi Kapoor and Lakshya.