The truth is, Akshay stopped working with Firoz after Hera Pheri 2 in 2006. Akshay Kumar and Firoz Nadiadwala go back a long way. They worked together in hits like Hera Pheri and Awara Paagal Deewana in the the early 2000s and then something snapped. After Hera Pheri 2, Akshay never worked with Firoz again despite the fact that the producer made two very successful Hera Pheri films with him.
Then, for some reasons best known to them, they had a massive fall-out and Hera Pheri 3 was announced with John Abraham replacing Akshay Kumar. That project never took off, and then the purported director of Hera Pheri 3, Neeraj Vora fell ill and passed away. Thereafter, Firoz had again announced Hera Pheri 3 with Akshay and Indra Kumar as director.
“Time happened. Time is the greatest healer. Akshay is a fabulous actor and an even better human being. We sorted out the issues, and here he is back in Hera Pheri,” exulted producer Firoz Nadiadwala who had been going through a rough patch with massive public fall-outs with directors Raj Kumar Santoshi and Anees Bazmi and the worst blow, the death of Firoz’s friend writer-director Neeraj Vora who passed away in Firoz’s arms.
Explaining his decision Firoz had said, “Indra Kumar is a director who understands the sur and taal of an Indian comedy. With his experience in the field he’s best qualified to take over the Hera Pheri franchise. I have full confidence that Hera Pheri 3 will turn out to be as successful as the first two films.”
The first Hera Pheri film starred Akshay, Suniel Shetty and Paresh Rawal as three out-of-luck wastrels out to make quick money. Soon after the film was completed producer Firoz Nadiadwala had a showdown with director Priyadarshan who was replaced in the second part by Neeraj Vora.
However Hera Pheri 3 with Akshay and Indra Kumar never happened. Then came Firoz’s announcement that he will produce a sequel to his 2002 comedy Awaara Paagal Deewana with Akshay in the lead.
Maybe Akshay’s closeness to Firoz’s cousin Sajid Nadiadwala has something to do with his distancing himself from Firoz. Cousins Firoz and Sajid Nadiadwala have not spoken with one another for decades.
It was on the sets of Sajid Nadiadwala’s Housefull 4 that Sajid Khan was sacked as director after persistent reports of sexual misconduct. Sajid Nadiadwala doesn’t talk to his cousin Firoz. Akshay doesn’t speak with Firoz. Sajid Nadiadwala and Akshay Kumar don’t want to work with Sajid Khan. Given the situation, Firoz was only indulging in wishful thankful by saying he wants to do a sequel to Aawara Paagal Deewana with Akshay Kumar directed by Sajid Khan.
In 2013 Firoz announced a sequel to his 2007 comedy Welcome, without Akshay Kumar. Director Anees Bazmi had said in the past, “John Abraham is playing the lead in Welcome Back. He joins Nana Patekar and Anil Kapoor who were part of the Welcome cast. But John is not stepping into Akshay Kumar’s role, as reported. We’ve eliminated Akshay’s part and created a new hero’s role. So John’s role is completely new.”
Apparently producer Firoz Nadiadwala’s fall-out with Akshay Kumar put Anees in a dilemma as he shares a warm rapport with the star. Initially the plan was to bring in John to replace Akshay. But when Anees felt that Akshay would be affronted if replaced by another actor, the role was scrapped and an entirely new hero’s track was written into the sequel Welcome Back.
So the bottomline: there never was any project produced by Firoz Nadiadwala with Akshay Kumar in the lead since Hera Pheri 2 in 2006.