Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan might have pulled off quite the casting coup for his film Jawan by drafting in Deepika Padukone. Scheduled to be released in June 2023, the action film is already highly anticipated, as it will feature South Indian superstar Nayanthara in her Bollywood debut.
Citing a source close to the production, Indian entertainment portal Pinkvilla said Padukone is set to make a "short yet important" appearance in the film.
"She has agreed in principle though the paperwork still remains," the source said. "Everything should be on paper in a fortnight."
If the news is true, Jawan will mark the second film featuring Khan and Padukone being released next year. The pair are already appearing in spy thriller Pathaan, scheduled for a January 2023 release.
Pathaan will mark Khan's return to the big screen following the box office debacle of his 2018 movie Zero. He and Padukone are known for their crackling chemistry on screen, having both starred in hits Om Shanti Om (2007), Chennai Express (2013) and Happy New Year (2014).
They will be joined by veteran actress Dimple Kapadia, last seen in Christopher Nolan's Tenet, as well as Ashutosh Rana, plus Gautam Rode, best-known for his television roles.
Two other cameos, featuring major stars playing characters from their respective films, have also been revealed — Salman Khan is set to play the spy from his hit Tiger franchise, while Hrithik Roshan will appear as his agent from the film War.
Jawan is no less ambitious. Besides Nayanthara, the film is also a Bollywood first for director Atlee Kumar, known mostly for Tamil films. Produced by Khan and his wife, Gauri Khan, under their Red Chillies Entertainment banner, the film has been called "explosive entertainment" by Khan.
“Credit goes to Atlee for creating this unique film, which has also been a fantastic experience for me as I love action films. The teaser is the just tip of the iceberg and gives a glimpse into what’s to come," he said, when announcing the project.
To take advantage of its cast's wide appeal, the film will also be released in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada, in addition to Hindi.