Deepika Padukone
Actress Deepika Padukone

Bollywood hot property Deepika Padukone is roped in to play the leading lady opposite Shah Rukh Khan in Rohit Shetty's upcoming movie "Chennai Express", Press Trust of India said.

"Deepika is part of 'Chennai Express'. She has been finalised," sources close to the project told India's biggest news agency.

This is the second time the two stars will revive their on-screen romance following the 2007 blockbuster "Om Shanti Om", which was Deepika's first Bollywood debut.

Several other big names such as Kareena Kapoor, Katrina Kaif and Priyanka Chopra were said to be considered for the female lead in "Chennai Express. This is the first time Shetty will be working with Shah Rukh and Deepika.

This is also Shetty's first movie where he would not be casting his close friend Ajay Devgn. His directorial debut film "Zameen" in 2003 included Devgn, and since then Shetty has always had the actor on board, giving several hits like "Bol Bachchan", "Singham" and "Golmaal 3".

The movie will begin shooting in September and is expected to release mid-next year. Earlier, a reliable trade source had that "Chennai Express" was sold for a whopping ₹1.05 billion.

"Shah Rukh and a film corporation are partnering on this one. Chances are that they will only sell the satellite, home video and music rights and actually keep the overseas and Indian theatrical rights with themselves," the source said.  

The movie is a hard-core commercial film, and with Shah Rukh in the lead role viewers are expecting a lot of romance.

The story revolves around Shah Rukh's character named Rahul, who travels from Mumbai to Rameshwaram, and his experiences during the journey.