The casting process for "Padmavati" has been in a state of flux for a while now, with no confirmation coming from Sanjay Leela Bhansali's team about who will play the role of Deepika Padukone's husband, Raja Rawal Ratan Singh, in the period film.
A few weeks ago, there was a strong buzz that Shah Rukh Khan had been approached to play the part, but he didn't know how to reject the offer and so doubled his fee, which obviously spiked the project's budget considerably.
"Shah Rukh who is busy with number of projects doubled his fee to reject the role. Now he is one of the highest paid actors and his demand was too huge for the film and so that didn't happen," a source informed BollywoodLife.
According to report in the Hindustan Times last year, SRK's per-film fee is around Rs. 40-45 crore. Clearly, paying an actor Rs. 80-90 crore doesn't come across as a feasible option or even a wise one for a production house backing an already expensive project.
However, earlier this year SRK told television personality Rajat Sharma on his show "Aap Ki Adalat" that he never charges for his films. "I never take money for acting in films. I only charge fees for endorsements, for events and live shows. I only tell producers to pay me whatever they wish, if the films do well (at the box office)," the superstar had said.
Has Sanjay zeroed in on Shahid Kapoor?
According to recent reports, Shahid has now been signed up to play the king. It wasn't easy to get him on board. Apparently, the young actor demanded a script change and fee hike, and is getting Rs. 9-10 crore for "Padmavati."
Amid all this, Sanjay's spokesperson has dismissed reports of increase in cast remuneration, saying there's no truth to them.