Deepika Padukone, Shah Rukh Khan, Alia Bhatt
Pictured: Deepika Padukone during "Bajirao Mastani" promotions; Shah Rukh Khan on the sets of a TV show for "Dilwale;" Anushka Sharma at a product launch.Varinder Chawla

Shah Rukh Khan's next with Aanand L Rai has been in news more because of the casting speculations around it than the fact that the actor will be playing a "little person" in it. Katrina Kaif and Deepika Padukone have apparently been pulled on board, but latest reports suggest that Anushka Sharma has replaced the latter.

"Deepika was most likely to do the film, making it her fifth screen pairing with Shah Rukh, who will be seen playing a dwarf. But, as luck would have it, things did not work out between her and the makers and now, there is a possibility that Anushka might do it," a source told Mid-Day.

Another insider added that Deepika is looking at a couple of projects just now, adding that she is pretty much undecided on which she will take up first. This has led to the makers approaching Anushka instead.

The news comes a few weeks after a DNA report claimed that either Sonam Kapoor or Alia Bhatt will fill up one of the slots in the two-heroine project.

However, the possibility of these leading ladies signing on the dotted line was ruled out for the following reasons: Sonam apparently will not be interested in playing second fiddle to another actress; and Alia would have already shared screen space with Shah Rukh in Gauri Shinde's untitled project.

Going by that logic, Anushka too may give Aanand's film a miss. Rumour has it that she has been signed on for Imtiaz Ali's next, which also stars SRK.

In other news, Aanand's film has an interesting premise and is set in a romantic space. "Mine is an ordinary character in extraordinary circumstances. It goes beyond India at one point but the seed is in Meerut. My films are more about the people than the place. So you will get to listen khadi boli and feel the temperament of the place...a dwarf with an attitude," the Hindu quoted the filmmaker as saying.

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