Some film projects with Sanjay Dutt, as shown, were never made or finished. Some, on the other hand, were finally shot but without him. I collected a few of them but of course this list doesn’t claim to be complete...
23rd March 1931: Shaheed / The Legend of Bhagat Singh: In 2002, two films dealt with the life of Bhagat Singh, and in both Sanjay had been offered to do a guest appearance. As he was befriended with the makers of both films (Dharmendra and Sunny Deol here, Ajay Devgan there), he chose the most diplomatic solution and said "no, thanks" to both offers.
Acid Factury: Produced by White Feather Films (2009), Sanjay was meant to be in the film, but after he parted ways with this production banner, his role was re-written for Irrfan Khan.
Bluffmaster: Sanjay was to play Roy, and Abhishek Bachchan was to play Dittu. But when Karan Johar shifted his KANK schedule in New York from May to September 2005, Rohan Sippy was forced to either wait a whole year for the Bluffmaster shooting or to start at once. The only one being able to give dates on short notice was Abhishek while Sanjay and Aishwarya (who was to do Priyanka’s role) weren’t free. So both had to withdraw from the project, but obviously they did it sympathetically as Sippy expressed his "very special thanks" to them in the credits.
Dhaai Akshar Prem Ke: It was planned with Sanjay in 1997, but he could not give immediate dates. Later Raj Kanwar made the film with Abhishek Bachchan; it was released in 2000.
Dil Mein Baji Guitar: On April 15, 2008 Subhash Ghai's Mukta Arts Ltd announced this forthcoming comedy starring Govinda and Sanjay Dutt, to be directed by Hadi Ali Abrar. After that, nothing more was heard about this project until January 2009 when it was said that Abrar was talking with Shreyas Talpade and Ranvir Shorey for the role considered to be Sanjay's.
Dishkiyaaoon: In the end of 2011, the media announced that Shilpa Shetty wanted Sanjay for an extended guest appearance in her first home production starring Harman Baweja, Prashant Narayanan and Aditya Pancholi. Newcomer Sanamjit Singh Talwar has written the action-packed gangster movie and will also direct it. Dishkiyaaoon will show the Mumbai underworld in a new light and has very real and contemporary characters. The film is an action thriller laced with black humour. It is being shot on real locations in Mumbai by the German Director of Photography Axel Fischer and has music by Ram Sampat. However, in March 2013 it was known that, due to his packed schedule, Sanjay was not able to do Shilpa's film.
Faltu: Vashu Bhagnani had casted Sanjay for his son Jackky Bhagnani's second movie, the college film Faltu (Vashu Bhagnani: "It’s a film about the lacuna in present day education. It’s about the failure of today’s educational system to guide our youngsters into suitable careers. It’s about how there’s too much stress in and on academics and too little on actually tapping every child’s potential.") Being friends with the Bhagnanis, Sanjay was willingly ready to support Jackky's re-launch and to play the main role of the principal who guides the students and helps them in dealing with their problems; but due to schedule problems, he later had to walk out of the project.
Freedom: In Vivek Agnihotri's political thriller which is to take the audience through the journey of India from the 70s to the current times, Agnihotri wanted to sign Sanjay for a pivotal role. However, nw (2012) he is obviously planning his project without him.
Gangster: Mahesh Bhatt had offered the leading role to Sanjay but, due to date problems, Sanjay couldn't accept it.
Generation Next (Gen X): A gangster film sans violence, an action comedy as a launch vehicle for two newcomers from producer Ekta Kapoor's reality show "Kissko Milega Ticket To Bollywood"; Sanjay Dutt, Tusshar Kapoor and Zayed Khan were to star in this film, Apoorva Lakhia is to direct it. However, Sanjay opted out of this project about a year before shooting was supposed to start (September 2008).
Ghanchakkar: Sanjay was to do a cameo as himself in Rajkumar Gupta's film Ghanchakkar starring Vidya Balan and Emraan Hashmi, but after the SC verdict in March 2013 this cameo was cancelled completely as Sanjay had no time left to shoot for it.
Hello Brother: This is to be read with a big question mark. Rumours say that Sanjay was to be in this film but could not do it because of date problems. Sohail Khan, however, stated in 7/1999 that the role was to be played by Arbaaz from the very beginning and that he was very embarrassed when Sanjay phoned him asking about the rumours of him being in Hello Brother... So probably this was really just a rumour. Let’s take it as a such one.
Hera Pheri: Originally named Raftaar, this film resulted from Varma's Nayak project which, in 1996, had been re-written (based on the movie Speed). Director Priyadarshan was to work with Sanjay Dutt and Akshay Kumar in this Feroz Nadiadwala production (Steven Seagal was guest of honour at the mahurat). But as Sanjay still had to spend all days at court it was difficult for him to give the required dates, and in 1998, not wanting to cause further delay, he walked out of the project. Priyan asked Suniel Shetty to play Sanjay’s role, and as Karisma Kapoor protested against Suniel’s casting, Feroz Nadiadwala replaced her by Tabu. In 2000 the film, in the meantime named Hera Pheri, was released.
Hero: Subhash Ghai had planned to give the title role to Sanjay, but after his negative experiences with Sanjay at the sets of Vidhaata - Sanjay was still on drugs at that time - he changed his mind and gave the role to newcomer Jackie Shroff. He even decided not to cast Sanjay ever again. But after Sanjay successfully fought his drug addiction and made a great comeback as an actor, Subhash Ghai changed his mind again and casted Sanjay as his Khalnayak.
Heroes: In an early report about Samir Karnik's Heroes, Sanjay was named as one of the co-stars. But he never appeared in this movie.
Informer: Sanjay Dutt was to act together with Emraan Hashmi in Kunal Deshmukh's film for Vishesh Films/Mahesh Bhatt but had to quit the project due to date problems. After Vivek Oberoi was briefly considered for his role, it finally went to Randeep Honda.
Jailbreak: First planned for Sanjay Dutt as Charles and I and then as Serpent Files. In 2008, Sanjay was to star in People Pictures' racy thriller Serpent Files (originally titled Charles and I). The movie was to be directed by Darna Mana Hai director Prawaal Raman and was allegedly based on the life of notorious criminal, Charles Sobhraj. It was to tell the story of an enigmatic criminal who sends the police forces in half a dozen countries on a wild goose chase. Talking about the choice of Sanjay Dutt for the lead role, writer and director of Charles & I, Prawaal Raman said, "Charles is a complex character - a charming man with a dangerous mind and dangerous intentions. Finding the right actor who has the ability to exude all these qualities at the same time was a tough call. We were looking for an actor who radiates star power coupled with the finest acting prowess to portray Charles. The only actor in my opinion who fit that profile was Sanjay Dutt". Aditya Shastri, CEO People Pictures (who meanwhile, however, backed out), commenting on the choice of the leading man says, "Sanjay Dutt is a terrific human being and a gifted actor who has the versatility to play diverse roles with unbeatable flair." Herman Knippenberg, the Dutch diplomat who investigated Sobhraj's case, has been roped in as consultant for this film. Though Sobhraj from Nepal where he presently serves a jail term filed a case against the project, Raman continued planning and wanted to rope in Lisa Ray and Bipasha Basu. Then the project was shelved for many years. When, in 2012, it was announced to be revived as Jailbreak, it was clear that it would be without Sanjay.
Kandukondain Kandukondain: There were rumours that Sanjay would star in Mani's Aandavan with Aishwarya Rai and Tabu in 1997. The film was later directed by Rajeev Menon as Kandukondain Kandukondain, and Sanjay was replaced by Mammootty.
Khuda Gawah: His first scenes of this film with Sridevi and Amitabh Bachchan were already shot (watch this) when Sanjay walked out. I have no idea why. His role (which obviously was just a small one) was then played by South Indian actor Nagarjuna.
Kurbaan: Karan Johar had planned this film (2009) at the beginning of the decade with Shahrukh Khan, Tabu and Sanjay Dutt; it was to be titled Kaal then. But he couldn't make the film at that time, and when the project finally took off, the roles were played by Kareena Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan and Vivek Oberoi.
Mission Istaanbul: Sanjay was supposed to play Nikitin Dheer's role but couldn't do it due to date problems.
Mohabbat Ka Paigham: In several Sanjay Dutt filmographies this movie from 1989 is still named. But I doubt that Sanjay ever did it. Till now I didn't find any evidence of it, and his face is not on the soundtrack cover. I think he was planned to do the film (supposedly the role Aditya Pancholi finally played), but due to whichever reasons the film was made without him.
Moksha: Ashok Mehta wanted to do his debut film in the early 90's with Sanjay. But he couldn't give Mehta the dates then, and when he got stuck with his legal hassles, he told Mehta to go on with another hero. So Mehta, in 1997, signed model Arjun Rampal. The film was released in 2001.
Once Upon A Time In Mumbai: Milan Luthria's next was meant to be the ultimate comprehensive look-see at Mumbai's underworld with Sanjay Dutt in the lead "who has acted in more films on the underworld than Ram Gopal Varma has directed". But after the end of the five-film deal between Sanjay and producer Ekta Kapoor, Sanjay's name disappeared from reports about this movie which is now to go on floors with Ajay Devgan and Emran Hashmi in the leads.
Prem Granth: Sanjay was to play the role of Soman but, because of his hassles with the FMC, didn’t manage to give the required dates. When he finally did, Madhuri could not give matching dates. To avoid further delay of Rajiv Kapoor’s project, the Kapoors and Sanjay agreed that the film would be made without him but with Rajiv’s brother Rishi in Sanjay’s role.
Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya: In Filmfare 6/1998, Salman Khan stated that he and Sohail offered the role of Vishal to Sanjay, but he was doubtful about the role and finally rejected it. It was then played by the third Khan brother, Arbaaz.
Race 2: Sanjay was considered for this film but couldn't do it as he had all his dates occupied.
Rajneeti: In 2004, Prakash Jha planned this film for five male leads and one female lead, and he was said to have got agreements from Sanjay Dutt, Arjun Rampal and Ajay Devgan. But obviously, the project at that time remained a plan. In 2008, it hit the headlines again, but now without Sanjay in the cast.
Trimurti: Sanjay was to play Anand, and Mukul Anand had even started shooting with him (I would love to see these scenes!) when Sanjay’s re-arrest on July 4, 1994 stopped the project. It is said that Sanjay sent a written agreement from prison to producer Subhash Ghai to make Trimurti without him. So Ghai did it and casted Anil Kapoor for Sanjay’s role (much to Aditya Pancholi’s displeasure who allegedly even made threatening phone calls to Anil). However, Shatrughan Sinha said in an interview (Filmfare 12/1997), "And what about all the drama he (Ghai) created just to drop Sanjay Dutt from Trimurti! Mr Sunil Dutt and Sanjay have told me the truth. He (Ghai) says Sanju gave him a no-objection letter. Maybe I should keep mum because the truth is something else."
Veer: When Salman Khan wrote his skript (end of the 80's/beginning of the 90's), he wanted to cast Sanjay Dutt for the lead (plus Amitabh Bachchan and Kumar Gaurav). But at that time, no producer was willing to spend so much money on a period film. When Salman finally, many years later, could make is dream movie, he played the lead himself (2010).
Yaan: Sanjay was considered for a role in Ravi K Chandran's Tamil film Yaan starring Jiiva, but due to his busy schedule Sanjay couldn't be a part of this project.
Yudh: Rajiv Rai planned this film in the early 80's with Sanjay Dutt and Tina Munim who were in love at that time. But after Tina's involvement with Rajesh Khanna and the couple's break-up, Sanjay told Rajiv that it would be either her or him in his film. Finally Sanjay opted out, but Rajiv and he remained friends.
Zordaar: In 1988, Sanjay walked out of this project of Ajay Kashyap with Govinda, Mandakini and Neelam due to date hassles (and was therefore furiously attacked by music director Anu Malik for abandoning the crew). Zordaar was then made without him (with Aditya Pancholi in the role meant for Sanjay), but it took the film until 1996 to finally be released.