Did you know Prabhas rejected these films besides ‘Thani Oruvan’?

The actor describes himself as shy, but his on-screen characters often exhibit a contrasting persona. The 'Baahubali' franchise was instrumental in propelling Prabhas to pan-Indian stardom.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jul 07, 2024 | 3:34 PM Updated Jul 07, 2024 | 4:01 PM

'Kalki 2898 AD', featuring Prabhas, garnered an impressive ₹95.3 crore on its release day, June 27. (X)

Kalki 2898 AD, directed by Nag Ashwin, is smashing box office records, experiencing an exceptional run. Featuring a star-studded cast with Prabhas, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, and Kamal Haasan, the film picked up pace over the weekend, earning ₹34.45 crore in India on its tenth day, as reported by industry tracker Sacnilk. The film garnered an impressive ₹95.3 crore on its release day, 27 June.

Made with an enormous budget of ₹600 crore, set in a dystopian future, Kalki 2898 AD centres on Bhairava, a bounty hunter who becomes a symbol of optimism for the citizens of Kasi. He leads a battle against the oppressive regime of Supreme Yaskin that has engulfed the planet. Prabhas is considered a bankable star; thanks to the Baahubali (2015, 2017) franchise. However, did you know the actor has turned down several hit films that later starred Allu Arjun, Mahesh Babu, and Jr NTR? Here is the list.

Okkadu

Directed by Gunasekhar and produced by MS Raju, Okkadu (2003) features Mahesh Babu, Bhumika Chawla, and Prakash Raj, with music by Mani Sharma. Released on 15 January 2003, it received positive reviews and achieved cult status in Telugu cinema.

The film was later remade in Tamil as Ghilli (2004) and Kannada as Ajay (2006). Prabhas turned down the offer, considering the storyline too risky.

Simhadri

Directed by SS Rajamouli and written by V Vijayendra Prasad, Simhadri (2003) features Jr NTR, Bhumika Chawla, and Ankitha, with Mukesh Rishi, Nassar, and Rahul Dev in supporting roles. The music was composed by Keeravani, and the cinematography and editing were handled by Ravindra Babu and Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao, respectively.

Released on 9 July, the film was acclaimed for its story, direction, and emotional scenes, becoming the second-highest-grossing Telugu film of the year and the third-highest at the time. Simhadri was later remade in Tamil as Gajendra (2004) and in Kannada as Kanteerava (2011). Prabhas declined the role, feeling he didn’t suit the mass appeal of the film.

Arya

A poster of the film Arya

A poster of ‘Arya’. (Allu Arjun/ X)

Featuring Allu Arjun, Anu Mehta, and Siva Balaji, the story revolves around Arya, an outgoing boy who falls for Geetha, an introverted girl entangled with another person named Ajay.

Produced by Dil Raju under Sri Venkateswara Creations, the film features music by Devi Sri Prasad and cinematography by R Rathnavelu.

Released on 7 May 2004, Arya garnered positive reviews and became a commercial blockbuster, grossing ₹30 crore worldwide. It has since gained a cult following and was dubbed in Malayalam in 2006.

The movie was remade in Tamil as Kutty (2010), and a spiritual sequel titled Arya 2 was released in 2009.

This is considered a career-defining film for Allu Arjun and marked Sukumar’s breakthrough as a director in Telugu cinema.

Initially eyeing Prabhas, Ravi Teja, and Nithiin for the lead role, Sukumar eventually chose Allu Arjun due to scheduling conflicts.

Brindavanam

Directed by Vamshi Paidipally, the 2010 blockbuster featured Jr NTR alongside Kajal Aggarwal and Samantha. The plot revolves around Indu persuading her boyfriend Krishna to pose as Bhoomi’s lover to stop her family’s groom search, leading to complications when Bhoomi falls for Krishna genuinely.

Jr NTR’s performance, blending action and romance, earned him widespread acclaim. Kajal Aggarwal played Bhoomi with captivating chemistry alongside Jr NTR, while Samantha left a memorable impression as Indu, despite her limited screen time. Brindavanam’s enduring popularity stems from its engaging storyline, beloved dialogues, and Thaman’s pivotal music contributions that cemented its superhit status. Initially, the makers approached Prabhas to play the lead role. However, he had to decline the offer as he was occupied with shooting for Darling (2010) and Mr Perfect (2011) at that time.

Naayak

Ram Charan in 'Naayak'. (Facebook)

Ram Charan in ‘Naayak’. (Facebook)

Directed by VV Vinayak, who co-wrote the film with Akula Siva, Naayak stars Ram Charan, Amala Paul, and Kajal Aggarwal. Thaman composed the film’s score and soundtrack. Shot extensively in Hyderabad and Kolkata, it holds the distinction of being the first Indian film to be shot in Slovenia.

Released on 9 January 2013, Naayak received generally positive reviews from critics and emerged as the fifth highest-grossing Telugu film of 2013. Vinayak’s approach, focusing on pure entertainment rather than the technicalities of filmmaking, resulted in a successful outcome.

Thani Oruvan

This film marked a significant milestone in the careers of both Mohan Raja and Jayam Ravi, becoming a blockbuster despite initial doubts about Mohan Raja’s ability to create original movies. Known for remaking films, Thani Oruvan was the director’s response to critics, aimed at proving them wrong.

'Thani Oruvan' release poster. (X)

‘Thani Oruvan’ release poster. (X)

In an interview, Mohan Raja disclosed that the idea for Thani Oruvan struck him while he was tasked with writing a script for Prabhas. The inspiration came from imagining the actor leaping out of a police compound.

“During that time, Prabhas was more inclined towards love stories and suggested I consider something in that genre,” Mohan Raja shared. However, around the same period, he was offered to direct Velayudham (2011) with Vijay, which influenced his decision to pursue the concept of a cop thriller instead.

(Edited by S Subhakeerthana)

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