However, an insider reveals that the makers felt that Abhishek will be better suited for the role considering his pairing with John Abraham was appreciated in 'Dostana', and brought the actor on board.

Sources said that Abhishek was initially hesitant about taking up the project but agreed after John Abraham convinced him during a meeting with director Neeraj Vora.

A source said, "Irrfan was advised bed rest but he still went to shoot the video. The makers then told him that he will be given another role and is not a part of the film. When he learnt about Abhishek coming on board, he got extremely angry as he wasn't kept in the loop about it."

The director denies the buzz, saying that Irrfan has not been replaced.

"The video that we shot was not supposed to be shown at the mahurat. We shot it to see how Irrfan would fit in the film. But, Abhishek hasn't replaced him. Irrfan wanted a few changes in his role and I am working on it. Everything is in the negotiation stage. I don't know if he will be a part of the film or not," Vora said.

The film's spokesperson confirms Irrfan has been approached to play a 'lovable don' in 'Hera Pheri 3', adding, "The writers are now developing his role and once that is done, the producers will approach him. There is no question of any replacement as it's a completely new story, with new characters."

A source close to Irrfan, however, says, "He didn't go to shoot the video, but to discuss the role. Finally, it didn't work out. He was not approached for Abhishek's role."

Producer Firoz Nadiadwala and Irrfan remained unavailable for comment.

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