Today, Emraan Hashmi and Soha Ali Khan are being seen opposite each other in Kunal Deshmukh directed Tum Mile which belongs to 'disaster movie' genre. However, not many are aware that years back, the film had first been offered to Imran Khan and Kangana Ranaut, both of whom promptly rejected this Mukesh Bhatt production. Not just that, even Kunal Kapoor, who had yet to prove his standing as a commercially viable leading man, wasn't too enticed by the film and politely declined the offer.
"That's what destiny is all about and one can't do much about it. Perhaps Emraan Hashmi and Soha Ali Khan were always meant to be a part of Tum Mile. I am glad that happened because today, I am getting such a wonderful feedback for this unique pairing", says Kunal Deshmukh who saw a change in fortune after his Jannat turned out to be super hit at the box office last year.
As per sources, all the aforementioned actors didn't quite want to work with a newcomer like Kunal Deshmukh in a film which was unconventional and broke Bollywood stereotypes. For Kunal, it was a period of turmoil since he had written the first draft of the script in 2006 itself, way before Jannat was even conceptualised.
"I was an Assistant Director at that time and Mumbai floods, which took place on 26th July, 2005, really shook me. I wanted to make a movie about two characters who reunite in this situation and what happens to their life soon after. This was a subject close to my heart but unfortunately for me, none of the actors were inclined to work with me at that time", Kunal makes an honest confession.
Imran Khan was shooting for Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Naa at that time and was extremely confident of his debut film. This is why he didn't want to work with a novice director at that time.
"And I don't blame him for that", Kunal replied promptly, "He is justified in his place. He was just starting out and perhaps it was good for him to be safe. He is a great guy and I would wish to work with him in future."
Meanwhile both Kunal Kapoor as well as Kangana excused themselves from the film as well.
"May be it was all my fault. May be I couldn't sell my concept to them in a convincing manner. After all a movie like this hasn't been attempted before and it was difficult for me to narrate a movie which is so visually driven", says Kunal.
It was an increasingly difficult period for him and this is when Mukesh Bhatt suggested that they begin work on a different subject.
"Mr. Bhatt told me that every movie has its own time and destiny and may be Tum Mile was meant to be made at a later stage. He advised me to work on something different and this is how Jannat was born. It too was a radically different subject for Bollywood due to it's theme of match fixing. But perhaps it was still a safer project", he reveals.
Not many know that even Emraan Hashmi had refused Tum Mile stating the same reason as his other colleagues.
"Thankfully, he didn't say no to me once I proved myself with Jannat", adds Kunal in a humorous tone, "After the success of Jannat, Mr. Bhatt reminded me of Tum Mile and gave me a go ahead. This time around Emraan was game for the film. He didn't even discuss the economics with me and just asked me when we could start."
Confirms Emraan Hashmi, "Kunal is a very sensible director; something that I realised with the way he made Jannat. As far as Kunal would want to work with me, I am sure that I would want to work with him. We make a great team and after Jannat, we were set out to make Tum Mile with as much passion and sincerity as well."
Kunal didn't revert to Kangana though and instead roped in Soha Ali Khan who was game for Tum Mile.
"Kangana was already working with Mohit (Suri) on Raaz - The Mystery Continues with Vishesh Films. She was paired with Emraan in the film and it would have been too much too soon for audience to see the same pair twice in a year. It made sense to rope in some other actress as that would have added freshness to the project. I was happy to sign on Soha since her pairing with Emraan is bound to surprise the audience. Time and again, it has been proven that something unconventional does work for the audiences. Same should hold goof for Tum Mile too", reasons Kunal.
The rest, as they say, is history and work soon began on the film. There was quite some emphasis placed on the film's pre and post production which is releasing all over on 13th November. Tum Mile has music by Pritam and lyrics by Sayeed Quadri & Kumar.