Salman Khan
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Salman picks his replacement?

Salman Khan

By HT

Mumbai, May 23 -- An ambitious Karan Johar production - for which Hrithik Roshan, Ranveer Singh and Salman Khan, among others, have been in the reckoning for the lead role, over the years - will finally be made with Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt.

The project, which is likely to kick off next year, will be directed by Karan Malhotra. Salman, who had been confirmed to star in the film last year, is no longer part of it, but he seems happy about Varun bagging the role.

On Thursday (May 21), he tweeted, "Kamaal karte ho Varun Dhawan...made ur dad n me so proud of u... happy Shhuddhi (sic)."

To this, Varun replied: "Thank you Bhai @BeingSalmanKhan I promise to make you proud #shuddhi (sic)."

Interestingly, we have learnt that Salman has been instrumental in getting Varun the role. "Not many are aware that he suggested Varun's name as a possible replacement for him in the film. He is confident that Varun can carry off the challenging part (of the male lead). And both the Karans were more than happy to sign Varun for the film," says a trade insider.

Neither Varun nor Karan (Johar) could be reached for a comment.