Months after news of Aanand L Rai collaborating with Shah Rukh Khan broke out, speculation still surrounds the final pieces in the casting puzzle. Names of several actresses have been tossed around for the two-heroine project — from Deepika Padukone and Kareena Kapoor Khan to Sonam Kapoor, Katrina Kaif and Alia Bhatt.
From left: Anushka Sharma, Deepika Padukone and Shah Rukh Khan
However, our sources tell us that Deepika is no longer in contention and the filmmaker has now shifted attention to Anushka Sharma as one of the two leading ladies. "Deepika was most likely to do the film, making it her fifth screen pairing with Shah Rukh, who will be seen playing a dwarf. But, as luck would have it, things did not work out between her and the makers and now, there is a possibility that Anushka might do it," says a source.
Aanand L Rai
Anushka recently wrapped up the shoot of Salman Khan-starrer 'Sultan', which, incidentally, had been offered to Deepika first.
Coming back to Rai's film, Salman had initially been offered the project, but he opted out of it after details about his role leaked out, say sources. SRK then came on board and since then, the hunt for the girls has been underway.
Recent reports suggested that Katrina was keen to play one of the leads but there is no official confirmation on it. "Despite the strong buzz about Deepika doing the film, she could not confirm her presence. She has a couple of projects in hand at the moment and is undecided on which one to do. So, now, Anushka has been approached," adds another source.
Rai remained unavailable for comment while Anushka's spokesperson denies the buzz and says, "There has been no discussion between Anand Rai's team and Anushka."
The actress, however, might just have some free time in hand after wrapping up Phillauri and could possibly consider Rai's offer.
Watch this space for more.