Amid rumours indicating the replacement of Pakistani actress Mahira Khan as the lead of the Shah Rukh Khan starred ‘Raees’, co-producer Farhan Akhtar clarified that the Pakistan star is still a part of the upcoming movie and won’t be replaced.
The movie co-produeced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani under the Excel Entertainment banner, was earlier set to release in July during the Eid this year, however, to avoid a clash with Slman Khan’s Sultan, the makers shifted the release date to the Republic day week in 2017.
The film came under controversy after the Uri attacks, which killed 18 Indian Army jawans. After the Uri attack, in which 4 heavily armed terrorist attacked military bases in the Uri district of Kashmir, several political and non-political bodies protested claiming the ban of Pkistani artistes in Bollywood. Karan Johar’s Diwali release, ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’, was also under the heat of controversy as it cast Pakistani actor Fawad Khan, with Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena threatening to vandalise movie theatres screening the movie. The director had later come with an understanding with MNS, promising to donate 5 crore to the Indian Army funds, for an easy release of the movie.
In his recent interview Farhan Akhtar slammed the MNS chief and his party and clarified that had the movie been shot after the Uri attack, the makers wouldn’t have cast a Pakistani star, but since the movie shoot had already been completed with Mahira in the lead there’s no way they’ll consider the replacement of the Pakistani star as the lead.