Riteish Deshmukh's debut Marathi film, Lai Bhaari(2014) redefined the outlook of regional cinema in Maharashtra. The film did not just set new opening day records, but also went on to become the highest grossing Marathi film of all time.
Not only did the story of the film - which was produced by Genelia D'Souza - have striking similarities with Shah Rukh Khan-Salman Khan starrer Karan Arjun, but also with Akshay Kumar's 2012 blockbuster Rowdy Rathore.
Initially, Lai Bhaari was planned as a Bollywood film and director Nishikant Kamat was in talks with Akshay Kumar to play the lead.
But Akshay Kumar wasn't convinced as he didn't want to repeat what he did in Rowdy Rathore, another action flick. Apart from the basic premise being a revenge drama, both the films required Akshay to feature in a double role.
After Akshay declined the offer, Nishikant met Riteish Deshmukh and the two decided to turn it into a first full-fledged commercial Marathi film. The film was majorly shot at Karjat in Maharashtra and Ramoji Film-City in Hyderabad.
How did Salman Khan come on board for the film?
While many might think Salman Khan's cameo in this action entertainer was planned, in reality it was an unplanned sequence, which in retrospect turned out to be great for the film.
When the unit of Lai Bhaari was at Hyderabad, Salman Khan was in the city for the shooting of Jai Ho. On coming to know that Riteish was shooting for a Marathi film in the neighbourhood, Salman went over to watch. He met Riteish on set and insisted on helping in whichever way possible.
While everyone was still trying to figure out how to handle this unexpected situation, Salman reportedly told the director: ''I want to act in this film, you figure out something.''
Recalling the incident later, Nishikant told Catch, "It was very funny, you know. People are going out of the way to cast Salman in their films and he comes to our sets and is like 'I want to act.' We were lucky."
Both Nishikant and Riteish sat together for three-four days to write a special character and scene for Salman Khan. Upon its release, along with the film even Salman Khan's 'quirky cameo' became the talk of the town.