Due to the look of Sanjay Dutt's character being very dark and sinister, there was a lot of interest in the movie before its release. However post the release of Agneepath, it was Rishi Kapoor who got lauded for his great performance as a negative chracter for the first time. Rishi Kapoor's performance was highly acclaimed , even more so than the lead actor Hrithik Roshan's.
The film was an official remake of the original Agneepath but several things were changed, like the backdrop of drugs was introduced, the reason for the death of Vijay's father was changed, Mithun's character was done away with, and Rishi Kapoor's new character was introduced.
Rishi Kapoor wasn't keen to play the negative character of Rauf Lala as he hadn't played such a role in his career of 38 years but producer Karan Johar and director Karan Malhotra showed confidence in him and assured him that he can do it.
Karan Johar said that he wanted to remake the film because the original film Agneepath 1990 starring Amitabh Bachan did not do well at the box office and as his his father was the producer of the film he want it to remake.