One actor comes in to play the role first offered to another actor is not a new thing in the entertainment world. Changing of artistes midway is also known. But in a surprise incident, it is the father who took over the role intended for the son. The film turned out a huge blockbuster and that way the father robbed his son of an early blockbuster. Let’s jump into the details.
It was during the early days 1977. Dana Veera Soora Karna was a box office rage and the current Nandamuri Nata Simham Balakrishna received positive response as Abhimanyu in that film (a good cameo). As narrated by noted screenwriter of the golden era, D. V. Narasa Raju, one of the popular cinematographers S. Venkata Ratnam ventured into film production and his first film flopped. He approached the writer in form, Narasa Raju (top writer of those days) and asked for a script. Narasa Raju already had a great idea and he said to the budding producer to approach N. T. Rama Rao and propose a Multi-starrer with himself and Balakrishna.
The film was Yamagola. Narasa Raju’s idea was to make Balakrishna play the protagonist (Sathyam) role in the film. N. T. R. would play Yama Dharma Raja. He thought it’d be a blockbuster combination to put Annagaru against the young Balayya and the drama will intensify because of that. So, they approached NTR and told him of their proposal. NTR at that time was uncomfortable for Balayya to act in other production houses yet. But he gave consent to listen to the subject out of respect for Narasa Raju. He liked the idea but felt the protagonist’s role required an actor with mass image and felt young Balayya couldn’t handle the role.
He advised the writer and the producer saying making Balakrishna play the role may bring initial craze but he couldn’t carry the weight of the role in his slender shoulders. Instead NTR himself will play the role. And Kaikala Sathyanarayana would play Yama Dharma Raja. They heeded to this advise and this way Balayya lost an early blockbuster. We wouldn’t know how Balakrishna would have played the role immortalised by NTR. Also, the film gave us Sathyanarayana’s iconic turn as Yama and his mannerism Yamunda is still a benchmark.