The singer-composer, who scripted the film, thought the earlier title was more suitable because his hero was "a character jisko koi ek kharoch bhi nahin maar sakta.
"In a way, he was invincible and could do wonders, just like Rajinikanth," said a source. "The only difference was that he was from the north."
But when Akshay was roped in to do the role, he thought Khiladi 786 would be a better option - since it would carry forward his khiladi action image and also play up the number '786', which is written on his character Bhaattar Singh's hand.
Perhaps the name Punjabi Rajinikanth would have brought better luck to Khiladi 786!