Bollywood film Wanted is touted as one of the biggest blockbusters of Salman Khan. The action-thriller, which was released in 2009 marked the directorial debut of dancer-turned-actor Prabhudeva. Wanted was a remake of the 2006 Telugu Blockbuster, Pokiri, which starred Mahesh Babu in the main lead.
In a recent interview, South actress-turned-Bollywood actress Ileana D'Cruz revealed that she was approached to make her Bollywood debut as the female lead in Wanted. She also revealed the main reason why refused to sign the Salman Khan film.
“I was offered a film of my own which was Wanted with Salman Khan. I was actually going to do it. I was happy that my first film would be with Salman. I remember I had exams on back then. So when film's producer Boney Kapoor sir asked me to do the photo shoot, I was like ‘I am sorry, I have exams on. I can’t. I didn’t think I handled it well back then because I didn’t understand the gravity of the offer. For me, it was all about finishing my exams,” the actress said.
The female lead of Wanted was finally portrayed by Ayesha Takia.
Ileana further added that she took three months' time to sign her Bollywood debut, Ranbir Kapoor starrer Barfi.
“I did get Bollywood offers even before my first South film and I am thankful that I didn’t make a mess of it. If I had done a Bollywood film, which has far more exposure than the South ones even though they get released worldwide, I would have made a fool of myself. I was actually going to back out of Barfi as well, because I wasn’t sure. I took three months to sign it. There was something about the story. I don’t know if I will ever get to do a story like this. I decided on a whim to do it.”
Wanted's success had come as a huge relief for Salman as the actor was going through a bad phase, with back-to-back flops. Between No Entry and Wanted, the Bollywood superstar had delivered 12 flops of 13 releases with only one hit, Partner. But Prabhu Deva's Wanted provided the much-needed success for Salman Khan by becoming the second biggest grosser of 2009 after Aamir Khan's 3 Idiots.