Mukesh Khanna Voices Concerns Over Ranveer Singh’s Potential Casting as Shaktimaan

The entertainment industry buzzed with a heightened sense of curiosity following an announcement by Sony Pictures India in 2022 that shook the nostalgic underpinnings of the Indian superhero realm. The announcement pertained to the film adaptation of the iconic television show ‘Shaktimaan’, a series that solidified its status in the hearts of an entire generation. The role that actor Mukesh Khanna played with finesse – as the Indian counterpart to the global roster of superheroes – was poised for a grand big-screen revival.

History of the beloved series came to the forefront when actor Mukesh Khanna, the original face of Shaktimaan, voiced his apprehensions concerning the rumors circulating about Bollywood superstar Ranveer Singh donning the cape of the highly venerated superhero. Taking to Instagram, Khanna expressed his discomfort and clarification on the speculation that has seemingly agitated not just him but the collective sentiment of Shaktimaan aficionados.

Posting in Hindi, Khanna elucidated, “For several months, social media has been filled with rumors of Ranveer playing Shaktimaan, which has upset everyone. I have been quiet, but ever since channels have begun declaring that he has been signed, I have to break the silence. I have said that a person with this image, no matter how big of a star, cannot be Shaktimaan.”

Branching out from Instagram, Khanna made it a point to share a video on YouTube, further elaborating his stance on the casting choice for the film adaptation. He suggested that an actor slated to play Shaktimaan must be reflective of the superhero’s core values, namely a level of decorum and influence that would resonate with audiences as more than a performer – a ‘super teacher’, to use Khanna’s own terminology. The veteran actor also implied that Ranveer Singh should opt for movies in international domains that might be more accepting of risqué behaviour, such as nude scenes, which he felt did not align with Shaktimaan’s character.

Merely a year after Sony Pictures India’s initial announcement and teaser release that celebrated iconic elements like Gangadhar’s glasses and the Shaktimaan costume, 2023 ushered in updates from Khanna himself. He intimated discussions of a potential three-film franchise that would breathe new life into the episodic saga of ‘Shaktimaan’, whom he dubbed not only India’s first superhero but also a ‘super teacher’.

“It is a dream come true for me,” Khanna remarked, reflecting on the prospect of this venture. He emphasized the timeless and universally relevant narrative of ‘Shaktimaan’, embodying the perpetual clash and eventual triumph of light over darkness, of truth over deception.

In one declarative breath, Khanna encapsulated the essence of the superhero’s impact, “An entire generation has grown up watching and learning from Shaktimaan. I have been promising Shaktimaan fans for a while now that Shaktimaan 2.0 is coming up. So, I am more than happy and feel extremely responsible towards fans who have literally grown up with me. I have always said ‘Vijayee bhava’ to everyone, but now I think I need to say the same to myself. May God be with me.”

Khanna’s pronouncements are not just the disappointment of a predecessor protective of a cherished role but resonate with a cultural ethos, the expectations set upon an iconic figure that molded the moral compass of many. As the cinematic adaptation of ‘Shaktimaan’ inches closer to reality, the gravitas of such casting decisions becomes palpable, underlined by Khanna’s heartfelt discourse. With this, fans of the legendary superhero wait in anticipation to see whether the forthcoming iterations of Shaktimaan will continue to inspire future generations as profoundly as it did in the past.

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