A few days ago, Shruti Haasan’s name was doing the rounds as Akshay Kumar’s potential heroine in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s upcoming production, Gabbar. But now we have come to know that another south star; Amala Paul, who was in the news after acting in the Vijay-starrer Tamil film,Thalaivaa, is the front runner to bag the role.
“Amala is surely the strongest contender, especially after Thalaivaa hits bullseye at the box office. She is the most promising newcomer in the film industry in the south right now. So both Bhansali and Akshay are keen on signing her,” says an industry insider.
The Akshay-starrer is a remake of the Tamil hit Ramana (2002). It is the story of a professor who teams up with his students to fight corruption. “The makers have been mulling over several options for the female lead. They were earlier considering names like Ileana D’Cruz, Tamanna Bhatia, Kajal Agarwal and Shruti, but once Akshay comes back from his holidays in the Maldives, they will finalise the actor,” says the source.
After Rowdy Rathore (2012), Gabbar will see Akshay and Bhansali team up for the second time. If Amala bags the film, Akshay will be seen working with a new south actor after Kajal Agarwal in Special 26, Trisha Krishnan in Khatta Meetha (2010) and Asin in Housefull 2 and Khiladi 786 (both 2012).
“The film is right now in its final stage of pre-production. It is set to go on the floors in the middle of 2014. Amala is wrapping up her south assignments. This gives an indication that she might be doing the role in coming few days,” says the source.
Despite repeated attempts, Bhansali and Akshay could not be reached for a comment.