Yes, the news is absolutely true. And PeepingMoon.com can exclusively tell you that not only will Dharma Productions or any other film business of Karan Johar’s ever work with Kartik Aaryan again, but they have replaced the actor from their major on-the-floor production Dostana 2. This is the first time a big production house has taken the harsh decision to replace its leading actor mid-shoot. But sources say that Dharma was pushed to the wall by Kartik’s “unprofessional behaviour” and having burned its fingers with him on the Collin D’Cunha-directed Dostana 2, has vowed never to work with him again.
It wasn’t just Kartik’s “date issues” that were delaying the film and forced KJo’s hand. The last straw was the actor suddenly developing “creative issues” with the second half of Dostana 2. Upset Dharma sources want to know why Kartik had no “creative issues” with the script when he came on board in 2019. The buzz is that Kartik’s tantrums on Dostana 2 began as soon as he broke up with lead actress Janhvi Kapoor whom he was reportedly dating. The two even took a holiday in Goa with Janhvi’s younger sister Khushi in January. Nobody knows what went wrong there but Kartik reportedly came back changed.
A Bollywood gossip queen said that Kartik started being vindictive with Janhvi. “After both actors committed to Dostana 2, Kartik made it impossible for her to do Shashank Khaitan’s film (then Mr. Lele) and she lost it to Kiara Advani. Now he doesn’t want to share screen space with his ex anymore it seems,” she added. A disbelieving trade pundit, when informed of Kartik’s ouster from Dostana 2, said, “Despite all the nepotism noise, Karan Johar chose an outsider to frontline one his most awaited sequels. Kartik will regret this. Dharma is a big production house. Look what Dostana in 2008 did to John Abraham’s career.”
A source from Dostana 2 said, “It’s strange for an outsider like Kartik to give such attitude to a nepo kid like Janhvi and a producer like Dharma. This, after shooting for 20 days. It will cost us crores and also put on hold the career of Lakshya who was making his debut. Janhvi is a star and will go on to do other big films.” The trade pundit added, “At the peak of the nepotism row, Karan Johar cast an outsider with just a handful of films along with a newcomer and a debutant to take ahead the legacy of a super hit like Dostana that had Priyanka Chopra, Abhishek Bachchan and John Abraham. Kartik seems to have forgotten that.”
The outcome is that Kartik is being replaced in Dostana 2. Dharma would rather sacrifice 20 days’ shoot than continue working with the actor. “Dharma is such a prestigious banner and KJo is reputed for launching careers – but never at the cost of a film’s future and the livelihoods of its cast and crew,” the trade source added.
Janhvi prioritized the big-budget romcom at Kartik’s insistence and was unable to accept another time-consuming project like Mr. Lele. “Now Kartik doesn’t seem to want to shoot with her but should remember how Kareena Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor amicably completed Jab We Met despite breaking up in 2007. That film turned out to be one of the biggest hits of their careers,” the gossip queen said.