Alia Bhatt's alleged absence in the third instalment of the hit franchise has sparked fan fury on the internet.
It's been nearly five years since we saw the iconic pair of Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan on screen. The duo, popularly known as "Varia," has been hailed as one of the most beloved Bollywood couples in the past decade. So, when the reports of the Dulhania franchise being extended to the third film started making the rounds, fans couldn't contain their excitement. But when it was being said that Alia wouldn't play the female lead opposite Varun, the excitement turned into an angst in no time.
Alia Bhatt's absence sparks disappointment
Several fans on X (formerly Twitter) shared that it's not a Dulhania franchise if both actors are not paired opposite each other. The highly acclaimed romantic comedy series starring Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt is getting ready for its third installment, following the release of Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania almost a decade ago and Badrinath Ki Dulhania six years later. With a huge cast shakeup, Karan Johar is moving on with his flagship franchise and plans to shoot Dulhania 3 this year.
As per the reports on PeepingMoon, Alia will not be appearing in Dulhania 3. Janhvi Kapoor has replaced Alia in the role of "Dulhania," opposite Varun. The reason behind Alia's absence from the beloved franchise is unknown, but her hectic schedule in 2024 could be the culprit. However, it has worked out well for Janhvi, who has secured her first franchise feature with this title. Varun and Janhvi will be working together again for the third installment of Dulhania after Nitesh Tiwari's Bawaal last year.
Unwillingness to accept a new pairing
Soon after the news hit the internet, extreme reactions were made, declaring that fans would not accept anyone else in place of Alia opposite Varun in the hit franchise.
Meanwhile, Shashank Khaitan is also directing this film, aiming to bring back the franchise's essence in an interestingly reimagined way. Like Badrinath Ki Dulhania, Dulhania 3 will have a completely separate storyline and cast of characters from the first two films. Production on the film will officially begin in the coming months after the start of pre-production.
Unmatched onscreen chemistry
Although Varun and Janhvi are likely to be seen together for the second time onscreen, it's a known fact that the magic he created with Alia has not been surpassed by any of his other female co-stars. They were compared to the likes of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol when Kalank was released, and fans have been anticipating more reunions.
Moreover, even on Koffee With Karan last season, Alia said that there is no doubt she has better onscreen chemistry with Varun than Ranveer. Many agreed to it, and to be honest, there are no two ways about it.
It will definitely take time for fans to sink into the news, but accepting a new onscreen duo with Varun and Janhvi can be a big question and probably an unsolvable one.