Not Preity Zinta, Kareena Kapoor was the first choice for 'Kal Ho Naa Ho';10 lesser known facts about the film

Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta in a still from 'Kal Ho Naa Ho' Photograph:( WION Web Team )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Nov 28, 2018, 05.15 PM (IST)

In his autobiography 'The Unsuitable Boy' Karan Johar had admitted that he regretted letting Nikhil Advani direct 'Kal Ho Naa Ho'. Johar served as the executive producer and the writer of the film which till date is remembered for its evergreen, soulful music and relatable humour. Set in New York, the film was a story of an Indian family whose riddled with several problems until a friendly neighbour enters their lives and changes their perspective on things. 

Starring Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta and Saif Ali Khan, the film was also perhaps the first mainstream Hindi film that touched upon homosexuality alibi in a humorous way. 

As the film completes 15 years, here's look at some of the lesser known facts about the film. 

- Karan Johar, who wrote the film, had initially titled the film as 'Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna' but later it changed to 'Kal Ho Naa Ho'. The title was derived from the song ' Aisa Milan Kal Ho Naa Ho' from the 1997 film 'Hameshaa' that starred Saif Ali Khan and Kajol. Johar subsequently did make a film with the title 'Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna' and incidentally, it featured Preity Zinta and Shah Rukh Khan along with the Rani Mukerji, Abhishek Bachchan and Amitabh Bachchan. 

- A lot of actors were approached for the role of Rohit. Salman Khan was initially offered but he did not want to play the second lead to SRK. Abhishek Bachchan and Vivek Oberoi were also offered the role but eventually, Saif Ali Khan came on board. Similarly, Kareena Kapoor was the first choice for Naina's character. Kapoor had reportedly asked for a big amount which Johar was not willing to pay. Preity Zinta subsequently played the role. 

- Vogue India's fashion editor and popular celebrity stylist Anaita Shroff Adajania played Saif and Preity's classmate in MBA school. 

- Johar had offered Jennifer's role to Neetu Kapoor who was not willing to make a comeback just yet. The role was played by Jaya Bachchan eventually. 

- Johar had faced legal issues for reusing 'It's Raining Men' in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham. So during 'Kal Ho Naa Ho', he didn't take any chances and bought the rights to redo ' Pretty Woman'  for the film. 

- Preity Zinta designed and stitched the clothes for the dolls that Gia plays with to make them look more Indian.

- While shooting for 'Pretty Woman', Shah Rukh Khan told the dancers that the girl who played Gia (Jhanak Shukla) was "a big star back home and a robot" because she was the lead on a TV show called 'Karishma Kaa Karishma'. 

- The producer of the film, Karan Johar and the choreographer of the film, Farah Khan appear in a scene together as customers at Jennifer's cafe. 


- While the story was set in New York City, a portion of the film, including the song 'Kuch To Hua Hai' was shot in Toronto and other parts of Canada as it suited the budget of the makers. 

- Karan Johar made a special edit for Shah Rukh Khan's children. The version that his kids watched had the film ending before Aman's death.