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Shah Rukh Khan will be seen as a cruel bootlegger in the movie "Raees", which is one of the most awaited flicks of next year. However, reports suggest that Irrfan Khan was the first choice for the role.

According to a report in Bollywood Hungama, director of "Raees", Rahul Dholakia initially planned to cast Irrfan Khan as the lead actor for the upcoming film but he was replaced by Shah Rukh when the director went to producer Ritesh Sidhwani with the project.

"When Rahul went to Ritesh Sidhwani, the project became many sizes larger than life. It was no more an Irrfan vehicle. Shah Rukh is to 'Raees' what Salman was to 'Dabangg'," the report quoted a source.

Likewise, Randeep Hooda was the first choice for "Dabangg", which Abhinav Kashyap initially planned to make with a documentary-like script. But the project was taken over by Arbaaz Khan later, who made it a Salman Khan starrer commercial movie, according to the report.

However, refuting these reports Rahul Dholakia stated that Shah Rukh was the only choice for "Raees". "Ritesh had asked me to name five actors I thought would be best for the role. I named only one. And his name was Raees. And Raees was Shah Rukh Khan," the director said when asked if Irrfan was considered for the project.

The movie "Raees" has a powerful cast including Shah Rukh, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and debutant Mahira Khan. The film is slated to be released on Eid next year.