Hera Pheri Stars© Getty Images

Is Kartik Aaryan Replacing Akshay Kumar In Hera Pheri 3?

Suniel Shetty is all set to make his acting comeback and OTT debut with the MX Player web series Dharavi Bank, which is releasing on November 19. Shetty shed some much-needed light on new developments surrounding Hera Pheri 3 during a press event for Dharavi Bank held in Mumbai yesterday, and said that he is stoked about Kartik Aaryan joining him in the cast.

Directed by Neeraj Vora and produced by Feroz Nadiadwala, the new film will see actors Paresh Rawal and Sunil Shetty reprising their roles from the franchise. We also have Abhishek Bachchan and John Abraham as new additions to the lead cast.

Shetty relayed his enthusiasm about working with Aaryan, who he thinks adds the much needed “spark of youth” to the cult-classic franchise. He also revealed that Aaryan has not been roped in to replace Akshay Kumar’s iconic role of Raju, and that he will be seen playing a “completely different character.”

“Kartik is not playing Raju. He has an amazing charm and that’s why he is where he is. He is passionate and he wants to work. He might just bring a freshness to these three people. He might just add the spark of youth that he has. Kartik’s experience and his energy might just work like magic,” Shetty said.

The Pailwaan actor also said that he thinks Aaryan’s character will be able to match Babu bhaiya’s energy, because Raju and Shyam have probably gotten older now. “It’s been fourteen long years, chaudaa saal ho gaye, vanvaas ho gaya, and still the audience remembers the characters, which is fantastic,” he gushed.

Shetty had recently expressed his disappointment about Akshay not being part of the new film, after the latter announced his departure from the franchise citing creative differences.

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“I’ve been so busy in Dharavi (while shooting Dharavi Bank) that what has happened with Hera Pheri 3, I don’t really know. To understand what’s going on, I’ll have to go back to the producers of the film and ask them if there’s any ‘hera pheri’ happening between them and Akshay. I’ll meet them after November 20. I will talk to them and understand (what’s happening with the film),” Shetty quipped on being probed about this.

After Dharavi Bank, co-starring Vivek Oberoi and Sonali Kulkarni, Shetty has File 323 with Anurag Kashyap, which is reportedly based on alleged financial fugitives Vijay Mallya and Mehul Choksi.

However, the film is on hold after running into legal trouble with a cease-and-desist order already served by Mehul. About the on-going controversy surrounding File 323, Shetty said that “the case is invalid anyway.”