Filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh has revealed that he had approached Abhishek Bachchan for the role of menacing contract killer Bob Biswas while making his acclaimed thriller Kahaani, but the actor couldn't do the film due to scheduling issues.
The 2012 thriller was headlined by actor Vidya Balan, who played Vidya Bagchi, a pregnant woman searching for her missing husband in Kolkata.
Played by actor Saswata Chatterjee, Bob Biswas --an LIC agent who moonlighted as a cold-blooded contract killer-- became the breakout character from the film.
In an interview with PTI, Sujoy said the first draft of the film focused on the characters of Vidya Bagchi and Bob Biswas but later underwent a change as Bachchan couldn't do the film.
"The first draft of Kahaani that I ever wrote was about this pregnant woman coming to Kolkata, looking for her missing husband and she meets this one man at the airport, who takes pity on her and helps her to find her husband."
"But that man was conflicted. He couldn't understand why would someone want to kill this woman- because he was given the contract to kill. So Bagchi and Bob come at the same time."
The director said in his original draft, the film explored the conflict of Bob, who is intrigued why would someone hire him to kill a helpless, innocent woman.
"Bob helps her to find her husband without understanding why he is doing it. The curiosity, that why would someone want to kill her, gets to him.
"I had given this script to this actor, who was so busy at that time he couldn't do it. Then I thought let's make it about Vidya Bagchi only, keep him out," he added.
When Sujoy started working on the spin-off Bob Biswas, he went back to Bachchan to play the titular part.
"When I started creating the new Bob, I went back to that same person and asked him if he would do it now, if he has the dates. He immediately said yes. That was Abhishek.
"When I was thinking of the new one, he just happened. He was always the first Bob when we wrote the first draft, which never happened."
Backed by superstar Shah Rukh Khan's Red Chillies Entertainment along with Sujoy's Boundscript Production, the film is directed by Diya Annapurna Ghosh.
The filmmaker said with "Bob Biswas", his intention was to create a character like a James Bond, which doesn't depend on any one actor.
"I thought it would be exciting if we can take someone like Bob and create a completely new character, which establishes Bob rather than an actor. It's a character and it'll go on, maybe like how Don or James Bond are.
"Creating that character and the world was exciting. Because we wanted to create a character, it was a conscious decision to go with someone fresh," he added.
Bob Biswas is set to premiere on streaming service ZEE5 on December 3.