Rakesh Sharma‘s biopic was first offered to Aamir Khan, who opted out of it later. Then Shah Rukh Khan was approached to play the lead in the space drama whose title was changed from ‘Salute’ to ‘Saare Jahaan Se Acchan’. A leading daily later reported that the ‘Zero’ actor, too has stepped down the project. Official confirmation was never made on either of the news by the makers of the film, Ronnie Screwvala, and Siddharth Roy Kapur.
A source says, “After SRK’s exit, Ronnie and Siddharth decided to cast a younger face to play Rakesh’s role. The story revolves around his mission to be the first Indian in space and he was 35 when he achieved this feat. So, they decided to sign one of the actors from Gen-Y.”
However, many names were doing the rounds, but a source from the production team confirmed the top two contenders, Vicky Kaushal, and Kartik Aaryan. While the former is in great form at the box office after ‘Uri: The Surgical Strike’, the latter has ‘Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety’ under his belt. “Mahesh Mathai, who is directing the biopic, has met Kartik, but they haven’t had a narration yet. Meanwhile, Vicky was spotted at Siddharth’s office a few days ago,” adds the source.