Mumbai, June 24 -- As Hrithik Roshan gears up to play the lead in Ashutosh Gowariker's next, based on the Indus Valley civilisation (in a film called Mohenjo- Daro), not many know that Sushant Singh Rajput had been in talks for the same role.
But even as Hrithik takes over from Sushant, the latter, coincidentally, is set to star in Shekhar Kapur's next - Paani - a futuristic project set in Mumbai - which was earlier supposed to feature Hrithik in the lead.
"Originally, Gowariker had offered the film to Hrithik. In between, when it seemed like the actor wouldn't be able to take it up, he was in talks with Sushant," says an insider.
On being contacted, Gowariker says, "Hrithik has always been the first choice. Clearly, Mohenjo Daro was destined to be made with him, as three years later, we are ready to begin shoot."
Meanwhile, Sushant says (via a text response), "All I know is that I'm a part of Paani next, and wouldn't like to comment on any other project."
However, this isn't the only coincidence. Ranveer Singh and Ranbir Kapoor were in a similar situation last year. Ranveer was the first choice for Anurag Kashyap's Bombay Velvet; when he couldn't take it up (due to date issues), Ranbir was signed. Again, after Ranbir opted out of Zoya Akhtar's Dil Dhadakne Do, Ranveer replaced him. Ranveer, on being contacted, says, "After the film is made, no one cares who it was offered to [first]. Such things become irrelevant very fast. For me, it has absolutely no significance. It didn't matter to me what the history of the casting was.