Today marks 16 years since Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta’s heartbreaking love story, Kal Ho Naa Ho, released. The film’s producer Karan Johar tweeted, “A love of a lifetime within a heartbeat! A film very close to my heart completes 16 years!” His post was showered with an outpour of love from fans who revisited their fondest memories of the Nikkhil Advani directorial. Compiled from Hindustan Times, here are five unknown facts about the film that went on to become a blockbuster.
1. Preity replaced Kareena Kapoor Khan
Kal Ho Naa Ho was first offered to the Ki & Ka star but she rejected it. Preity was roped in soon after. Speaking about the film, Preity said earlier, “It was very special to me because I lost my first love. I was in love with him and he was not. I felt strongly when the film was offered to me. Some of the best things have happened to me during that film.”
2. Karan had to deal with personal tragedy
After the success of the 2003 hit, Karan suffered a setback as his father and renowned film-maker Yash Johar passed away a few months later. Shah Rukh also underwent a major surgery during the shooting. “It was one of those films that filled me with joy but it broke our hearts as well. It was a roller coaster ride. It is a timeless film. I am fortunate that I was a part of it,” Karan previously said.
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3. Shah Rukh may not have been in the film
Just four days into the shoot of the film, Shah Rukh fell ill and told Karan, “I think I won’t be able to do it”. However, Nikkhil reportedly convinced Karan to wait for the actor to recover and the shoot finally resumed after a gap of six months.
4. ‘Kal Ho Naa Ho’ tune was composed at a bakery
The popular theme song was made by the terrific trio Shankar-Ehsan-Loy while sitting with Nikkhil at an eatery in Pune. Nikkhil was humming the Celine Dion number My Heart will Go On and expressed his desire to have a tune with similar impact. Later, Shankar and Ehsaan listened to it and came up with the title song.
5. Karan regretted not directing ‘Kal Ho Naa Ho’
The ace artist had confessed that he wished he had helmed the film, which proved to be a dream debut for Nikkhil. The latter mentioned, “I don’t blame Karan for regretting it. He wrote it from his heart. But, I think, he underestimated himself, and he thought that he won’t be able to do justice to it. Now when he says that, I feel his pain.”
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