Mumbai, May 12 -- Recent reports about Sidharth Malhotra catching the Bhatts' fancy and bagging lead roles in the next Raaz and Murder instalments seem to have upset Mahesh Bhatt.
An insider tells us, "Mukesh Bhatt saw the rushes of Sidharth's next, Ek Villain, and loved them, but these rumours are baseless. They haven't decided to cast him in their successful franchises that have starred Emraan Hashmi."
Rumours had it that Sidharth had managed to impress not only the Bhatts, but even directors Mohit Suri and Vikram Bhatt. A report that claimed Sidharth had signed a multiple-film deal with the banner furhter fuelled the speculation. Mahesh, in his usual straightforward manner, denies the rumours.
He says, "Going by the numbers, it's impossible for us to separate the Murder and Raaz franchises from Emraan. He's an integral and inseparable part of the brand." Citing the example of Murder 3 (2013), which starred Randeep Hooda and Aditi Rao Hydari, he adds, "We have burnt our fingers thoroughly with Murder 3, a venture Emraan did not spearhead, and we do not plan to repeat that.
Whoever is spreading these rumours (of Sidharth doing the next movies in the franchise) has vested interests and is way out of line. I hope this puts the malice to rest - we will not make (the next) Murder or Raaz without Emraan." The insider says that while Emraan is confirmed to star in the future instalments of both films, neither has a locked script in place.