Deepika Padukone and Katrina Kaif
Deepika Padukone and Katrina KaifReuters/Varinder Chawla

Ashutosh Gowariker's ambitious project has faced a roadblock already with two leading ladies in the industry - Deepika Padukone and Katrina Kaif - turning their backs on the film.

After a long wait, the director had finally started moving on with his period love story, which reportedly features Hrithik Roshan in the lead. However, Gowariker's "Mohenjodaro" has noe been rejected by both Padukone and Kaif, reported Mid Day.

The filmmaker had initially approached the "Chennai Express" actress due to her popular demand. But the actress, who has a jam-packed schedule, has her dates blocked for almost two years, with "Happy New Year", "Window Seat", "Piku," "Shuddhi" and "Bajirao Mastani", leading her to refuse the project, according to a source. Padukone had previously worked with Gowariker in "Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey" (2010).

Following Padukone's rejection, the director approached the "Dhoom 3" actress but met with a similar response. The actress' manager confirmed to the tabloid that she cannot work in the project due to her busy schedule.

Gowariker's period film will be shot with Indus Valley Civilisation as its backdrop and has been tentatively titled "Mohenjodaro".

While Padukone and Kaif have refused the film, the director could very well consider contemporaries Priyanka Chopra, Sonam Kapoor, Kangana Ranaut, Anushka Shrama or Parineeti Chopra for the part.

Or else, the "Lagaan" director could very well approach Kareena Kapoor, who was keen to reunite with Roshan earlier in "Shuddhi" before things fell out. And if the filmmaker manages to rope in the Kapoor and Roshan pairing, it will be quite a news of sorts.

But now by the looks of it, "Mohenjodaro" will join the likes of "Bajirao Mastani", "Shuddhi" and the Sooraj Barjatya film, whose casting has been the subject of severe speculations.