Okay, I’d start this with a Shah Rukh Khan dialogue with a minor tweak because it’s an article about him: “Apni kursi ki leti baandh lo, mausam ubharne wala hai!” Why? Because we’re set to deep-dive into a fan wish casting that could start many debates, and most of them won’t agree with my hot take—Kamal Haasan as Vikram Rathore in Jawan. Before you point all your missiles at me and shoot fire, just hear me out.
To agree with this crazy fan wish casting, you’d need to agree with me that Kamal Haasan did a fantabulous job as Agent Vikram in Vikram. If you agree with that, we can take this journey ahead, and if you’re not a fan of this Lokesh Kanagraj brilliance, then as Amitabh Bachchan would say, “aapka aur hamara saath bass yahin tak tha.”
Jawan is all about Shah Rukh Khan’s multiple roles and looks in the film, and Vikram Rathore is undoubtedly the most important thing that came out of it. Just imagine Shah’a Azad getting beaten up badly by Vijay Sethupathi‘s Kalee’s goons and entering Vikram Rathore with all his undying swag, the camera pans to his face, and as it lights up, we see Kamal Haasan smoking a cigar in the most stylish way a man can smoke a cigar roaring the dialogue in his typical South-heavy accent “Bete ko maarne se pehle baap se baat kar.”
You’d be babying if you were going to tell me that this won’t invite a mad wave of seetis and taalis in the cinema halls. Fans would jump with joy, probably recording the loudest cheer any hero could’ve gotten in this era. Even if you imagine this and find this is a good idea, do you think a two-hero film with these two would be possible to get a release?
Though the film would’ve only taken advantage of the same, attracting the fanbases of both the mega-stars but, will they agree to the characters they get? As mentioned, Vikram Rathore was the soul of Jawan, and I don’t think someone as smart as Shah Rukh Khan would let any other star have the opportunity to grab that.
Kamal Haasan on board meant Atlee would’ve to rework the script, which revolved equally around Azad and Vikram Rathore. This also means making sure both the actors have their highs to elevate the sequences, and that math often gets imbalanced.
At the 18th MAMI Mumbai International Film Festival in 2016, Karan Johar once said, “You can’t make it as two heroes will not work together. The role of Lakhan will be considered as a larger part, and the character of Ram will be insecure of Lakhan.” Akshay Kumar is also one actor who revealed the same and said on Koffee With Karan 7, “There are a lot of actors who won’t do a 2-hero or 3-hero project.”
Shah Rukh Khan & Kamal Haasan have worked together in Hey Ram, but if this could’ve happened, Jawan would’ve reached a different peak than the prestigious one it has already achieved.