Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Irrfan Khan
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Irrfan Khan to play the lead roles in Sanjay Gupta's "Jazbaa"Reuters

Director Sanjay Gupta revealed that Irrfan Khan will be playing the male lead in his upcoming film "Jazbaa" starring Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.

But it looks like Khan was not Gupta's first choice for the lead role. Apparently, Gupta had signed "Dhoom" actor John Abraham for the male lead role, but due to Bachchan bahu, he had to drop Abraham, Daily Bhaskar reported.

" John was suppose to co produce the film and so Sanjay Gupta took him in the lead, but Aishwarya wasn't happy with John being in the lead and so Sanjay decided to replace John and rope Irrfan in the film," a source told Daily Bhaskar.

The leading daily also reported that Abraham's film doesn't work well in terms of box office business, unless it's a multi-starrer. His last two films "Shootout at Wadala" and "Madras Café" were critically acclaimed film, but the business of the film was not that good.

And Gupta reportedly didn't want to risk box office figures. Also, after a gap of four years, Bachchan is making her silver screen comeback with Gupta's "Jazbaa" and she wants to make it big.

"Sanjay didn't want to take risk on the box office collection as its one of his ambitious project and also its Aishwarya's comeback film," the source added.

On the other hand, Khan has garnered international attention with his performance in films like "The Lunchbox" and "Paan Singh Tomar" among others. He has also worked in Hollywood film "Life of Pi" and "The Amazing Spider-Man" and will be seen in another Hollywood film "Jurassic World".

On Thursday, the director confirmed the news that he has signed Khan in the male lead role. Khan will play the role of a cop, who has several problems, while the former Miss World will play the role of a lawyer in the upcoming film.

The film will go on floors in the beginning of next year.