Dec 282017

Katrina Kaif has opted out of the Shahid Kapoor-starrer Batti Gul Meter Chalu due to paucity of time to prep for the role due to her choc a bloc schedule

Katrina Kaif has opted out of the Shahid Kapoor-starrer Batti Gul Meter Chalu due to paucity of time to prep for the role. Blame it on her busy schedule as she is shooting back-to-back for Aanand L Rai’s untitled next with Shah Rukh Khan and Vijay Krishna Acharya’s Thugs Of Hindostan, which stars Aamir Khan.

Katrina Kaif
Katrina Kaif

Says a source from the creative team, “The director [Shree Narayan Singh] had given her a script narration. She loved the story and asked her team to work out further details.”

As Kapoor plays the protagonist — a lawyer — the makers were looking for a top A-list female actor opposite him. The source adds. “She has an equally strong role as she plays his friend, philosopher and guide. Kaif seemed to fit the bill. Also, this was the first time Shahid and she would be working together.” But things appeared to fall apart after the narration.

The source continues, “It’s a challenging role and the character mouths dialogues in a particular style as the film is set in Uttarakhand. Kaif would not just have to look the desi character, but also learn the diction, which would be tough given the time constraints, hence she thought it would be better to say no right at the outset. She was keen on being part of the project, but there was no way she could juggle the dates. She tried to work out the schedule, but it looked tough to fit in the prep along with the shooting of the two films.”

Singh, who is on a recce in Uttarakhand, remained unavalibale for comment. Producer Prernaa Arora says, “We approached Katrina as she was our first choice. She loved the subject and the character. We were ready to work together, but there was a clash of dates. There were workshops she couldn’t attend as she’s shooting continuously for Aanand L Rai’s film and Thugs Of Hindostan till March next year.”

Arora further adds, “Batti Gul Meter Chalu needs to be shot in cold climes on outdoor locations in January and February. The story demands a winter backdrop. As Katrina will not be free till March, we couldn’t wait for Katrina.”

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