Salman Khan
Bollywood actor Salman Khan sits in a car as he leaves a court in Mumbai, India, May 6, 2015.Reuters

Karan Johar's much-anticipated film "Shuddhi" will now star Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt. Salman Khan, who was supposed to play the lead role, tweeted about it and seemed excited about Varun replacing him.

"Kamaal karte ho Varun Dhawan...made ur dad n me so proud of u... happy Shhuddhi," Salman tweeted.

Interestingly, it has now been learnt that it was the "Bajrangi Bhaijaan" actor who reportedly recommended Varun Dhawan to Karan Johar.

"Not many are aware that he suggested Varun's name as a possible replacement for him in the film. He is confident that Varun can carry off the challenging part (of the male lead). And both the Karans were more than happy to sign Varun for the film," a source told Hindustan Times.

The "ABCD 2" star also took to Twitter to express his gratitude towards Salman, hinting at the latter's involvement in him landing the project.

"Shuddhi" has been in the news ever since the project was conceived and witnessed much delay, owing to the change in the lead actors. Initially, Hrithik Roshan, Aamir Khan, and Ranveer Singh were approached, but they chose to opt out of the project. Later, Salman stepped in, much to the filmmakers' relief.

However, the news of Salman being replaced by Varun hasn't gone well with most of the superstar's fans, who were excited to see the "Kick" star in the much-hyped film.

This would have been the first time that Karan and Salman teamed up after their 1998 superhit "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai" (1998) and the actor-director duo were reportedly looking forward to creating another blockbuster with "Shuddhi".

While the reason for the "Prem Ratan Dhan Payo" actor having backed out of the project is not known, rumour hasit that it may be due to the superstar's ongoing legal cases, the 2002 hit-and-run and the Blackbuck Poaching cases.