Rajnikanth is the highest paid star on the Indian screen. Arnold Schwarzenegger though not the big name of the past is still a great star from Hollywood. Producer Shankar needed a strong villain to play the role opposite Rajnikanth in his latest offering "Enthiran 2" (Robot 2). The role which was very important required a star with a stellar name to match Rajnikanth. Initially, the role was offered to another superstar Kamala Hasan and the role was tailor made for him.

However, the intense rivalry between the two made Kamala Hasan drop out. He felt he could not play the role of a villain opposite his rival. After scouting around for a few more stars Shankar flew to Hollywood and narrated the role to Arnold. The strong character interested Arnold who agreed to do the role. The Hollywood star demanded a very high fee which was thought of as too steep by Shankar, and thus he regretfully rescinded the offer.

Entry Akshay

Before offering the role to Arnold, Shankar had offered the role to Amir Khan (another big name from Bollywood). The Bollywood star was interested but he informed Shankar that he was busy shooting his film "Dangal" and thus did not have the dates for the movie. Shankar also considered Neil Mukesh but he was thought of as too lightweight a star opposite Rajnikanth. Hrithik was also considered, but the role ultimately went to Akshay Kumar.

He accepted and will now be seen in as the villain in the movie.

Akshay Kumar is one of the top Bollywood stars and this is the first time he would be doing a negative role. Since the role was opposite the superstar Rajnikanth he accepted. The producer also thought it a good marketing ploy as Akshay has a huge fan following in Northern India, and with Rajnikanth, the king of southern cinema, the film will have universal appeal.

Heading for 2017 release

Given a choice Shankar and Rajnikanth would have liked Arnold to star but the price and shooting dates led to his name not being considered. Earlier the news that Arnold may star opposite Rajnikanth had generated tremendous excitement. Now it will be up to Akshay to justify his selection. The film also stars Amy Jackson and overall the film could be a runaway hit like all of Rajnikanth's films.

All this happened a few months back and now the film is slated for release in early 2017.

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