Hurman was signed for the film last year. But after Love Story 2050 and later, Victory tanked, the producers have had a rethink. Also in the current recession-rid market, it is important to have a saleable star. So after a meeting, Bhansali and Saregama's Madhu Mantena, along with the distributors took the decision to cast John Abraham in the lead role.
The movie also stars Amitabh Bachchan and Vidya Balan. This is the actor's fourth film with Bachchan (Viruddh, Aetbaar and Babul). An insider adds, "Right now, the producers and director haven't informed Hurman as yet. He's in Delhi and so, no-one will confirm this right now. They are waiting for him to come back. Then, they will break the news to him."
Bhansali states curtly, "It's not true." Mantena laughs off the development with, "Hurman is still there in the film. We will start Chenab Gandhi in May. It would be unfair to drop him now when his films are not doing well. I am doing another film with John called 1-800-Love; maybe the confusion begins there."
Harman Baweja remained unavailable for comment. Saregama India is co-producing Chenab Gandhi with Bhansali. It will be directed by debutant Vibhu Puri. Chenab Gandhi is being made on a budget of Rs.35 crores).