After 13 years, Saif Ali Khan was to team up with his 'Dil Chahta Hai' producers Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar for a film directed by Reema Kagti. Saif was to play the protagonist, a suave womaniser in the film titled 'Mr Chaloo'. Kangana Ranaut was cast opposite Saif in the dark comedy.
But the reunion has been ruined. The actor and the producers have parted ways due to differences over Saif's remuneration. A source said that studio heads at Excel were of the opinion that after Saif's recent flops the actor should reduce his fee to make the project economically viable. However, Saif was not ready to budge.
After weeks of talks, the two parties failed to resolve their differences and the makers eventually decided to look for an alternative for Saif. A source close to the development said, "Saif argued that he is getting a certain amount for the Sujoy Ghosh directorial being produced by Ekta Kapoor's production house. The amount offered by Excel was a much smaller. He couldn't accept two drastically different figures from two rival studios. Excel's offering was way below Saif's market price."
Ritesh Sidhwani was optimistic about Saif even a few days ago. While talking about the same issue, he had said: "We have full faith in Saif. He is a very good actor and perfect for the part. We start the film with him in January."
Clearly things have changed since. "Now, the film has been pushed to March and Kangana, who had given January dates to the film, has allotted a fresh slot. The makers are hoping to get Saif's replacement by then." When asked to comment, Saif, who was in Switzerland holidaying with Kareena Kapoor, sent a message that read: "I'm not doing Reema's film anymore."