By February 2017, Khan had prepared his look for the film. In the same month, Shraddha Kapoor gave a costume look test and audition for the film. In March 2017, it was reported that Khan suggested Fatima Sana Shaikh's name for a role in the film; while denying rumours of casting, Sheikh expressed her eagerness to work in the project. In May 2017, Shaikh was confirmed to play a role in the film, with her audition look being revealed. She replaced Kapoor. Kaif was confirmed to star in the film on Yash Raj Films' official website. Khan, Bachchan and Acharya met during the month of May to discuss script changes. Contrary to initial reports, the film is not based on Philip Meadows Taylor's 1839 novel Confessions of a Thug (which was about Indian thugs); the film tells a fictional story based on historical events. Acharya links the misunderstanding to the word thug appearing in both works. Khan also denied rumours of Thugs of Hindostan being inspired by Pirates of the Caribbean, stating in May 2017 that they are both simply action-adventure productions, among many others in the action-adventure film genre, such as the Indiana Jones series.