On May 30, the action-drama, Virasat, completed 25 years. The film is remembered for its plot, rural setting, performances and of course, the unforgettable music track. The film had opened on an average note but had dramatically picked up from day 2 onwards. The film ended up collecting Rs. 11.32 crores. In today’s times, the collections are equivalent to Rs. 101 crores.
25 Years of Virasat: J P Dutta, and Mahesh Bhatt were considered to direct the Anil Kapoor starrer; Dilip Kumar and Raaj Kumar were the original choices for Amrish Puri’s role
Virasat starred Anil Kapoor, Amrish Puri, Tabu and Pooja Batra and was directed by Priyadarshan. Interestingly, the film’s star cast and the director underwent several changes. The entertaining and not-so-known trivia was revealed by trade expert Komal Nahta revealed on his entertainment website, Film Information
Komal Nahta revealed that Border (1997) director J P Dutta was approached to direct initially. The blockbuster filmmaker had even agreed. This was a time when Raaj Kumar was considered to play the role of the patriarch. Sadly, J P Dutta reached late for the narration, angering Raaj Kumar.
Then, Bharathan, the director of Thevar Magan (1992), from where Virasat was remade, was asked to helm. In his very first meeting with Raaj Kumar, the director ended up telling him that he’s his very huge fan. Seeing this, the producers Mushir-Riaz had second thoughts about signing Bharathan. They believed that if the director is in awe of the actor, then he won’t be able to do justice. In an interview with a tabloid, Anil Kapoor revealed that Raaj Kumar was also not keen on having Bharathan as he didn’t like his ‘shakal’!
Finally, Priyadarshan bagged the job of the director. Virasat’s success boosted his credibility in Bollywood and three years later, he became a force to reckon with after Hera Pheri (2000).
Director Mahesh Bhatt was also considered at one point. It was a time when Javed Akhtar was going to write the film. As per Komal Nahta’s article, Javed Akhtar reportedly had reservations about Anil Kapoor’s casting. However, the producers were adamant about having him as the lead. Meanwhile, Raaj Kumar reportedly had reservations about Javed Akhtar being the writer of the film!
Meanwhile, Dilip Kumar was the first choice but he declined as he was busy with his directorial venture, Kalinga. Finally, Raaj Kumar, too, couldn’t do the film. The actor suffered from throat cancer and passed away on July 3, 1996, that is, 11 months before the film eventually released.
According to Anil Kapoor, it was he who suggested that Amrish Puri should play the role of his father. On the other hand, once Priyadarshan was on board, he asked Tabu to join. Tabu, in an interview in 2019 had said that when Priyan called her to offer Virasat, she agreed instantly. It’s only when he reached the location she realized what the film is all about and who her co-stars were.
Thevar Magan was written by Kamal Haasan and starred him in the lead role along with legendary actor Sivaji Ganesan. Last month, when Kamal Haasan was in Mumbai to promote his latest release Vikram, he revealed that he wanted to play his role in the Hindi remake as well and also that he wanted Dilip Kumar as the father. He said, "There's one actor whom I miss and I really wanted to work with. I really held his hand and begged him but he had decided not to act (and that actor is) Dilip Kumar saab. I wanted to make Thevar Magan with him. It didn't happen so I gave it to another friend and he made it with Anil Kapoor saab and Amrish Puri saab."
More Pages: Virasat Box Office Collection
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