Arjun Kapoor

What? It was Arjun Kapoor and Not Ranveer Singh in Kapil Dev’s 83


Ranveer Singh was the one to get the script first and then it was Arjun Kapoor and once Kabir took over Ranveer got it back.

The grand premiere of Kabir Khan’s 83 was on Wednesday night, the cast and crew the movie included Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone who played the role of Kapil Dev and his wife Romi, the couple hosted Kapil Dev and other celebrities. The movie is to release today and only a few people know that Thalaivi’s producer Vishnuvardhan Induri was the one who first conceived the idea eight years ago and had also developed the story and script with National Award-winning writer and director Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan.

Ranveer Singh was the one to get the script first and then it was Arjun Kapoor and once Kabir took over Ranveer got it back. Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan won the Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director at the 2009 National Film Award for Lahore and in 2021 he won the National Film Award for Best Direction for Bahattar Hoorain and is currently directing Akshay Kumar’s patriotic drama Gorkha.

Says a trade source, ” Arjun Kapoor didn’t attend the premiere of one of his closest friends. He is shooting for Kuttey, but he could have taken out a few minutes for Ranveer as it was a big moment for Ranveer. But fact is,  Arjun Kapoor was the first choice for 83. When Vishnuvardhan and Sanjay were putting together the movie, they were keen to cast Arjun Kapoor as Kapil Dev. The project was announced in 2014 but later Sanjay was replaced by Kabir Khan in 2017. After Vishnu, Vikramaditya Motwane, Madhu Mantena and Vikas Bahl and Reliance Entertainment came on board as producers while Sajid Nadiadwala and Deepika Padukone came much later.”

The source further added, “After Sanjay wrote the first draft, he and Vishnu approached Arjun Kapoor who loved the script but wanted Aditya Chopra to co-produce it. Adi loved it so much that he wanted to buy the script outright, but Sanjay was keen to direct it himself and with Arjun Kapoor as they had even done some look tests. Arjun Kapoor roped in Vikramaditya, Madhu and Vikas as they were close to him.

They kept calling Sanjay to their office but wouldn’t discuss the script. It was when 83 was announced officially at an event by these three and Reliance Entertainment that Sanjay came to know through a friend that he had been replaced and that they were considering Ranveer to play the legendary cricketer’s role.”

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Arjun had started his cricket training by then. “Buzz is that, during this time Vikramaditya, Madhu and Vikas had finalised Kabir Khan who was keen to cast Ranveer as Kapil Dev and were in talks with him already. When Arjun came to know that Kabir had approached Ranveer for the role, he requested Ranveer not to do the movie but adding that it was finally Ranveer’s call. Ranveer was in a fix – it was a role of a lifetime but his best buddy would be hurt if he accepted.

Finally, after six months, considering everything and discussing it with Arjun, Ranveer decided to accept the role. The two continue to be close friends because they decided to sort it out in a mature way,” the source asserts.

When asked about whether Arjun was the original choice and had been finalised for the role, producer Vishnu Vardhan Induri doesn’t deny it but says, “I am not comfortable talking about what happened earlier. I think we should avoid talking about this. Ranveer is brilliant as Kapil Dev. He has put his heart and soul into the role and practiced so much. Kapil’s bowling action was the most spectacular thing that every Indian cricket lover wants to watch and Ranveer worked extremely hard to recreate that. A lot of hard work has gone into it. Ranveer spent almost two years prepping and shooting for the 83.”

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