Salman Khan and Ranveer Singh
Salman Khan and Ranveer SinghVarinder Chawla

Salman Khan's Dabangg 3, the third installment of the cop series, will hit theatres in 2018 itself if reports are anything to go by. Dabangg 3, to be helmed by Prabhudeva, has been in the news for the longest time now.

Although no official confirmation has been made regarding the shooting or release date, producer Arbaaz Khan and director Prabhudeva have locked the script and the movie will go on floors at the earliest. Dabangg 3 will see Sonakshi Singh reprising her role as Chulbul Pandey's (played by Salman Khan) wife. 

"The plan is to begin the movie this year and wrap it in one go so that it can be released at the end of 2018," a source told DNA.

Earlier, there were speculations that Dabangg 3 may clash with Shah Rukh Khan's Zero, which will release a week before Christmas. However, Salman is adamant on not releasing the film on the same date as Zero. "Even though Salman knows that he will miss out on the Christmas weekend, he has made it clear to his team that he won't clash with Zero at any cost," the source said.

Now, the makers of Dabangg 3 are eyeing on the weekend after Christmas. Incidentally, Ranveer Singh's Simmba, helmed by Rohit Shetty, is releasing that week (December 28). "Dabangg 3 will probably come a week later, which means it will battle it out with Rohit Shetty's Simmba (a remake of the Telugu blockbuster Temper). But nothing is confirmed right now," the source added.

This means the box office battle will not just be between Salman and Ranveer but also between two cop scripts. While Salman will get back to his Robinhood character (Chulbul Pandey), Ranveer will play the role of a corrupt cop in Simmba.

Meanwhile, Salman is shooting for Race 3, post which he will begin the shoot for Dus Ka Dum 3. He also has Ali Abbas Zafar's Bharat and Kick 2 in the pipeline.

A source close to the actor said: "Salman wraps  Race 3 by April. It will release in June. He will also finish his commitment to the second season of Dus Ka Dum during that time. In June, he starts the first schedule of Bharat, which won't be too long. He then takes a break from Ali's film and plays Chulbul Pandey. He wraps up Dabangg 3 in a start-to-finish schedule and then goes back to shooting Bharat, which will be his Eid release for 2019. Then, he begins work on Kick 2 next year."