That Akshay Kumar has been roped in to play Chitti's (Rajinikanth) arch nemesis in "Robot 2" is old news. What's fresh is that he, in a way, has replaced Amitabh Bachchan.

The senior actor reportedly wished to play a negative role but was advised against it by the south superstar.  

"Shankar had come to me and he wanted me to play the villain (in 'Robot'). I called Rajini. He said, 'people will not accept you as a villain, so don't do it'. I said ok," PTI quoted Big B as saying. He wasn't the only one Akshay had to leave behind in order to bag the role. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Salman Khan were some of the strong contenders who had to let go of the project for reasons best known to them.

Interestingly, "Robot 2" didn't land in the "Airlift" actor's lap out of nowhere. He was recommended to the makers by his "Singh is Bling" co-star Amy Jackson, who is also a part of the sci-fi thriller. The Brit import was reportedly seen in Los Angeles a couple of months ago getting her body mould created for the outfits she will have to slip into in the film.

In other news, Akshay let go of a dance reality show to accommodate Rajinikanth's film. "Ending the year on a high note! Super excited to be a part of Robot 2 with the one & only @superstarrajini sir!," he confirmed the news on social media with a group photo. 

The charming actor's next is "Airlift", in which he will be seen romancing Nimrat Kaur. Directed by Raj Krishna Menon, the action-drama is scheduled for a 22 January release.