Sonakshi Sinha
Sonakshi SinhaVarinder Chawla

Bollywood actress Sonakshi Sinha has shocked everyone, by turning down ace filmmaker Mani Ratnam's upcoming film, which is incidentally Aishwarya Rai Bachcahn's comeback film.

The "R... Rajkumar" actress was recently approached by Ratnam for the role of the third female lead in his next, after Aishwarya and Shruti Hassan. But Sonakshi is said to have declined the chance, citing date issues.

"She loved the role and it was really tough for her to let go of the offer. But she had prior commitments and didn't have the required dates. But she will definitely work with Mani Sir in the future," The Times of India quoted a source.

According to the tabloid, Ratnam had approached the 'Shotgun Junior' after meeting his actor-politician father Shatrughan Sinha.

However, the 26-year-old's calendar appears to be jam-packed. She is presently busy shooting Amit Sharma's "Tevar" with Arjun Kapoor, and is also part of Prabhu Deva's "Action Jackson" with Ajay Devgn.

Even if Sonakshi had agreed to be a part of the project, there was always a possibility of Aishawrya's grand comeback stealing the spotlight. And this could also be one of the probable reasons that the "Lootera" actress steered clear of the project.

Ratnam's bilingual film, starring Nagarjuna and Mahesh Babu, gained prominence after Aishwarya gave her nod to the project. A recent report by The Indian Express stated that the actress has signed on for the film, which is to start rolling by mid 2014.

Aishwarya's association with the acclaimed director has been a long one. The diva had debuted in Ratnam's "Iruvar" back in 1997. She then went on to star in "Guru" (2007) and "Ravan" (2010) and its Tamil version "Ravanan", under the filmmaker's guard.

With Ratnam's film, Aishwarya is expected to end her long hiatus, following daughter Aaradhya's birth. The actress is understood to have turned down numerous scripts, before finally giving her nod to the project.