Salman Khan
Salman KhanVarinder Chawla

Superstar Salman Khan is set to return to the big screen as Chulbul Pandey in "Dabangg 3." At a recently-held event in Mumbai, director-producer Arbaaz Khan said the film will roll sometime next year.

"Next year we will start working for 'Dabangg 3.' Right now, Bhai (Salman Khan) is busy with some of his projects like Sultan and others. So 'Dabangg 3' is in queue. I cannot say the exact time, but next year for sure," Arbaaz told IANS.

Roughly three years ago, on the sidelines of "Dabangg 2" promotions, Salman had said that the third instalment would actually be a "prequel," as it would focus on Chulbul's back story and how he came to be the kind-hearted but corrupt cop.

"We have our third film ready and it will go back and show how Chulbul Pandey becomes Chulbul Pandey. If the second one becomes a hit, we can go to the third one, which is actually the first one. So Dabangg 3 will be a prequel," the 50-year-old actor had told the news agency.

"Kick" and "Bodyguard" are two of his other films, which may be converted into a franchise. While "Kick 2" is reportedly in scripting stage, the casting speculations around "Bodyguard 2" are immense.

In other news, Salman has been working on Ali Abbas Zafar's "Sultan," in which he plays a wrestler based out of Haryana. Anushka Sharma essays the role of his love interest in the film. The makers of the action-drama are looking at wrapping up the film by May.

"Two songs have already been shot and 70 per cent of the film is complete but a major match sequence is yet to be shot. Now we have a 30-day schedule and will wrap by May," a source told Box Office India.

Scheduled for an Eid release, "Sultan" may clash with Shah Rukh Khan's "Raees."