21 years after the release of Hera Pheri, producer Firoz A Nadiadwala has shared that Priyadarshan was not responsible for the cult comedy as he left the project midway.

21 years after the arrival of cult classic Hera Pheri, producer Firoz A Nadiadwala has uncovered that the movie’s director Priyadarshan “abandoned the project midway.” Hailed as extraordinary compared to other Hindi comedies of all time, Hera Pheri featured Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty, and Paresh Rawal in pivotal roles and launched Priyadarshan’s satire venture in Hindi film.

Nadiadwala revealed in an interview to Mid-day that he “kept mum all these years out of respect for Priyan, and because the film became a blockbuster” but is now choosing to open up as Priyadarshan has spoken about turning down the sequel and the upcoming third part of the franchise. He questioned, “How can he talk about turning down our offer to direct the second and upcoming third part, when he did not even complete the first film?”

According to Firoz A Nadiadwala, the rendition that Priyadarshan gave him had a runtime of three hours and 40 minutes and was loaded with “depressing scenes.” He additionally asserted that the director was “absent during the background music recording and dubbing.”  For Nadiadwala, it was late writer-director Neeraj Vora who changed the film totally as he “added a lot of punchlines”. Vora later directed the sequel Phir Hera Pheri.

The producer said that after Priyadarshan’s “disappearance,” the film was cut down to a sharp 130-minute runtime, and two songs were added – “Jab bhi koi haseena” and “Tun tunak tun”. The report also claims that Priyadarshan’s version of the film was not a comedy but the story of an economically challenged family.

Nadiadwala is seemingly still holding a grudge against Priyadarshan as he said, “The film, which the audiences saw, was the director’s cut in the sense that the director was cut from the final version.” He also added that the director tried to “convince the actors to say no” to the sequel.

Hera Pheri 3 is currently in the works as Paresh Rawal recently told indianexpress.com, “They are trying to work it out. Hopefully, by the end of this year, you will get good news.”