Deepika Padukone, Salman Khan
Deepika and Salman have never worked together before. Pictured: Deepika at "Bajirao Mastani" promotions; Salman at "Dance India Dance" season 5.Varinder Chawla

For quite some time now, there have been talks of Salman Khan romancing Deepika Padukone in Kabir Khan's film, reportedly titled "Tubelight." But fresh reports suggest that she has been replaced by an actress of Chinese origin, and the stars will, instead, come together for Rajkumar Santoshi's next.

An insider told Mid-Day that Deepika and Salman may star in Rajkumar's film adding: "The makers prefer to be tight-lipped until the casting is done and a formal announcement is made." The "Phata Poster Nikhla Hero" filmmaker's project features a healthy dose of comedy and action, DNA reported.

The superstar apparently loved the script. "He wanted to work with him and the script is perfect. There will be comedy and action in it. Both Santoshi and Kabir's films will release next year. Both the scripts are completely different from each other. Santoshi's film which roll later this year," the daily quoted an insider as saying.

Meanwhile, a source told BollywoodLife that Kabir's film demands a Chinese actress, which is why the "Bajirao Mastani" star has been pushed out of the scene. "Deepika has realised that she doesn't have much scope in this film. Her condition was that they increase her role when she comes on board, but Kabir is very strict with his writing and doesn't plan to do any such thing. Hence the makers will go as planned with a girl of Chinese origin," the source added.

In other news, Salman is gearing up for Ali Abbas Zafar's "Sultan," the teasers of which are looking impressive and promising. The sports-drama follows the story of Haryana-based wrestler Sultan Ali Khan and his battles both inside and outside of the ring. Anushka Sharma plays his lady love Aarfa and a wrestler too.

Deepika is busy with her maiden Hollywood film — "XXX: The Return of Xander Cage" — where she plays Serena, girlfriend to Vin Diesel's Cage. The action-thriller opens in theatres Jan. 20, 2017 and stars Ruby Rose, Tony Jaa and Nina Dobrev in key roles.

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