If early reports are any indication, Deepika Padukone has stolen the march over her closest competitor Kareena Kapoor and is now all set to step into Rohit Shetty’s Chennai Express. This also means that it would be half a decade after Om Shanti Om that the couple would be seen together as a lead pair. Though they have done an item number for Billu a few years back, a conventional hero-heroine pairing was being missed for long.

Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone
Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone

“More than anyone else, it is great news indeed for Deepika because now she will be challenging girls at the top all over again,” says a filmmaker, “Starting with Cocktail (Saif Ali Khan), she has men like Rajinikanth (Kochadaiyaan) and then Saif again (Race 2) for company. With Shah Rukh Khan along and a director like Rohit Shetty who definitely knows the hit formula, Deepika has a huge film up her name. She can definitely expect an interesting year ahead for her now,” informs our well placed source on the condition of anonymity.

Priyanka Chopra, Katrina Kaif, Kareena Kapoor
Priyanka Chopra, Katrina Kaif, Kareena Kapoor

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There were other top names in consideration as well. However given the current scenario with Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra was anyways out of equation. Katrina Kaif is already doing the Yash Chopra film with him and roping her in would have meant two consecutive films. It all boiled down to Kareena Kapoor and Deepika Padukone and now it has emerged that it’s the latter who will be joining Shah Rukh in this ‘express’.”

For Rohit too it would be an entirely different set up since in the past he has cast Ajay Devgan and Kareena Kapoor most number of times. Meanwhile indications are that Deepika’s name as a leading lady would be formally announced around the release of Bol Bachchan.

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