Akshay Kumar's popularity among his leading ladies remains undiminished. For proof, try this. Three of his favourite co-stars Katrina Kaif, Sonakshi Sinha and Deepika Padukone have, in the words of someone close to the project, "shown varying degrees of interest" in doing the Hindi version of the Tamil Diwali blockbuster Thuppakki which is currently ruling the box-office.
Now, there could be two other reasons besides Akshay Kumar, in these three lovely ladies' keen interest in doing Thuppakki. The film has broken all previous records in Tamil cinema, exceeding the collections of even the biggest Rajinikanth blockbusters. At the same time, this action-oriented film offers the leading lady a chance to play a boxer.
We hear three of Akshay's leading ladies feel they're eminently qualified. Says our source, "After the intense experience of doing Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Katrina is at the moment searching for something fun to do in her next project. The Thuppakki remake will give her that sense of unwinding. Besides, she's been dying to do something with producer Vipul Shah and Akshay Kumar for the longest time. She had a fabulous time working with them in Namastey London and since the Namastey London sequel is not happening immediately, she is agreeable to taking on the challenge of doing the remake of Thuppakki."
Deepika Padukone may beat Katrina to it simply by default. "She was offered the original Tamil film, but could not do it due to date issues. Now Deepika is the top contender for the boxer's role in Hindi, and mainly because she by nature an athlete and has been looking out for a sporty role," says our source.
We hear Kajal Aggarwal who plays the lead in the original Tamil film is not eligible for the remake. Says our source, "The cast will be completely different. Both Vipul and Akshay feel the remake should be completely different in look. Sonakshi Sinha has also expressed interest in the role."
When contacted, producer Vipul Shah completely cut down reports that Parineeti Chopra has been signed opposite Akshay. "It could be any of the ladies you've mentioned. We're very sure that the remake would have to be very different from the original. Vijay, who stars in Thuppakki, is a superstar in Tamil cinema. With Akshay, the remake will acquire a larger appeal. So yes, the leading lady would be different from the Tamil film."
In fact, Vipul's current blue-eyed boy Vidyut Jamwal who played the villain in Vipul's production Force would not encore his villainous role from Thuppakki. Asserts Vipul, "I will certainly not cast Vidyut as the villain. I am launching him as a hero in Commando. So the villain too would be played by a different actor in the remake. You see, the whole idea is to give the remake of Thuppakki a fresh look. Our director Murugadoss, Akshay and I will lock in on the heroine as soon as we know who can look convincing as a boxer."
One hears Deepika may just beat Katrina and Sonakshi to the role. Says the director A. Murugadoss, "We'll decide who plays the leading lady once we all sit down to discuss the matter. The girl's character will change in Hindi. In the Tamil film, she's a funny boxer. She has nothing to do with Mary Kom. In Hindi, we will now take references from Mary Kom and give the character more gravity."