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Wednesday, July 17, 2024  
10 Muharram 1446  

Did you know Hansal Mehta was first choice to direct ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’

Says he handed over famous project to Kashyap because of lack of support
Photo via Netflix
Photo via Netflix

Acclaimed Indian director Hansal Mehta has disclosed that he was initially set to helm the critically acclaimed crime drama ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ before handing the project over to Anurag Kashyap.

In an interview with Mid Day, Mehta shared that he had worked on the story with writer Zeishan Quadri for a few months.

Mehta, known for films like Aligarh and Shahid, even approached actor Manoj Bajpayee to play a lead role in the film.

But the Scam 1992 director admitted that he lacked the necessary support and resources to move forward with the project. “I had no idea how to go about it because nobody trusted me,” Mehta said.

It was around this time that Quadri connected with Anurag Kashyap who immediately expressed interest in the project. Kashyap then reached out to Mehta, offering to take over the directing duties.

“Anurag called me and asked, ‘Sir, aap bana rahe ho toh main nahi banata hoon [If you’re really doing it, I’ll step away],’” Mehta recalled. But Mehta did not have a producer and he saw it as an “impractical dream.”

The Scoop series director had one request for Kashyap – to cast Manoj Bajpayee in the film. Bajpayee, who was initially supposed to play the character of Faisal, eventually took on the role of Sardar Khan, which became a career-defining performance for the actor.

Kashyap went on to develop the film into a two-part saga, significantly rewriting the script. The final version of ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ became a critical and commercial success, cementing Kashyap’s reputation as one of India’s leading filmmakers.

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Gangs of Wasseypur

Anurag Kashyap

Hansal Mehta