Who will kick off with Salman Khan?

Bollywood actor Salman Khan promoting his film Ek Tha Tiger in Lucknow.

Sajid Nadiadwala has been in the news following his surprise decision to turn director. After 25 years in Bollywood as a producer, Sajid’s move came as he replaced Shirish Kunder in the director’s chair for Kick. Now, he wants to ensure that he picks the right female lead opposite Salman Khan in the film.

Insiders confirm that he has shortlisted four names for the action film — Anushka Sharma, Deepika Padukone, Sonakshi Sinha and Ileana D’Cruz, who makes her debut later this month with the Ranbir Kapoor-starrer Barfi! “It’s confirmed that Sajid will choose from one of these four girls to star opposite Salman,” informs a source. It’s even being said that Sonakshi might not make the cut, considering that she has already worked with Salman in Dabangg (2010) and will star in the upcoming sequel as well. “Sajid is keen to create a completely fresh pair. So, it looks like the options are Ileana, Deepika and Anushka, one of whom will play Salman’s love interest,” says the source.

When is a formal announcement expected about the coveted role? The source adds that casting decisions will not be finalised for the next 15 days at least. “Since Sajid is busy managing other details of the film, he will take around two weeks to take the final call on the female lead. Of course, Salman has left the decision completely to him,” the source adds.

In the past, Sajid has worked with Salman as a producer on hits like Jeet (1996), Judwaa (1997) and Mujse Shaadi Karogi (2004). The source says, “Thanks to Salman’s blockbuster track record and the buzz around Sajid turning director, Kick is surely one of the most-awaited projects of next year, along with Aamir Khan’s P.K and Dhoom 3, and Shah Rukh Khan’s Chennai Express and Happy New Year.”

When contacted, Sajid remained unavailable for a comment. The film will go on the floors around February next year.


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