John Abraham, Firoz A Nadiadwala, Paresh Rawal, Neeraj Vora, Suniel Shetty and Abhishek Bachchan filming Hera Pheri 3 in Zabeel Park in Dubai in 2015. Image Credit: Supplied

Hera Pheri 3, the third instalment of the hit Bollywood franchise that was shot extensively in Dubai last April and stars John Abraham and Abhishek Bachchan, isn’t going as planned. There’s reportedly a shake-up with the cast and crew.

Bachchan, who plays a key role along with John Abraham, has made an exit. In a recent interview while promoting Housefull 3, Bachchan revealed that he’s no longer a part of Hera Pheri 3. The actor didn’t go into details, just saying that “it did not work out”. The launch of Hera Pheri 3 was a splashy affair in Mumbai and journalists from the UAE were invited to get a sneak peek into the $17 million (Dh62.4 million) project in January last year.

The film’s Dubai-based associate producer Arjun Kumar has declined to comment about the changes.

According to reports, producer Firoz A Nadiadwala is facing financial problems, which threw the filming schedules into disarray. The scheduling conflicts prompted the actors to walk out of the film. Even the film’s director, Neeraj Vora, is now being reportedly replaced by Ahmad Khan.

Akshay Kumar, who starred in the first two instalments of the hit comedy, is rumoured to make a return. The Bollywood star was not in the original line-up of Hera Pheri 3.

According to sources in the UAE, the crew with its new cast will return to Dubai in October to begin filming from scratch. Portions that were shot with Bachchan will have to be binned and new scenes will be shot with the actor who will replace Bachchan.

It’s surprising that Bachchan has decided to part ways with Nadiadwala. When Gulf News tabloid! visited Bachchan and Abraham on the sets of Hera Pheri 3 in April last year in Dubai’s Zabeel Park, they were upbeat about their roles.

Hera Pheri 3 is an out-of-the-box, whacko comedy. It’s a mad script and I knew that Baba [John Abraham] and I will have a lot of fun doing it... there’s nothing uncouth about it and it’s a film that children will love,” Bachchan said then. “The first thing that the director said before beginning filming was: ‘remember we are making a film for the kids — so have a ball’.” Abraham was thrilled to re-unite with his Dostana star and claimed that they looked amazing together.