Mystery behind why Alia replaces Pooja in Mahesh Bhatt’s 1991 sequel


Here’s a sensational bit of confirmed Bollywood news. When Mahesh Bhatt’s romantic thriller Sadak was released in 1991 starring Sanjay Dutt and his daughter Pooja Bhatt, the filmmaker’s youngest daughter Alia Bhatt was not even born. Now, 26 years later, when Bhatt’s production house Vishesh Films is making the sequel to the big grossing film of the 1990s, it is not Pooja who will return to the screen from hibernation with Dutt as is being widely reported. Peeping has learned that Sadak 2 will star Dutt and Alia instead!

The deal was reportedly struck on Thursday when Alia was photographed by the paparazzo while leaving her father’s office in Khar west. Now this might have been an innocuous visit by Alia to see her father. But Peeping sources reveal that Alia went to the Vishesh Films office to sign on the Sadak 2 deal. The sequel won’t feature Pooja. It will be entirely based on Dutt and Alia and is said to be a tight and powerful script. Nothing else can be revealed about the film that the Bhatt brother Mahesh and Mukesh are producing. Pooja, who is a filmmaker too, might assist her father and uncle in directing her kid step-sister.

Mahesh had reportedly been toying with Sadak 2 for a while. But after Pooja bumped into Dutt in Delhi last April, she got her old co-star to drop in at the Vishesh Films office and together they convinced her father to write the story. Mahesh revealed what happened at the narration, “Sanjay who was 32 when we made the original, comes back as a 54-year-old into the 21st-century world that is collapsing in front of his eyes, where the distinction between the house and the ‘sadak’ is fast disappearing. The story has the emotional connect of the films I made back in the '90s. I could see that in the reaction of those present at the narration. They were visibly moved.”

However, what led to Pooja dropping out and Alia stepping in is not known. Just some time ago Pooja had excitedly told the media, “Sadak 2 will reflect the special relationship my father and Sanjay share. While my character is unique, and this film like Aashiqui 2 will make you believe in love at a time when it’s so easy to walk away from a relationship, it’s going to be about Sanju from the first frame to the last.” Vishesh Films, she added, was looking for a young male actor who was not a “chocolate-boy hero” and an actress with the “emotional resonance of Pooja and Alia Bhatt”. When asked why not cast Alia only, Mahesh had replied, “No, Alia is not going to be a part of this film. But it is going to bring back Pooja in a dazzling new avatar.” Wonder why the change in plan.