Ranveer Singh is no longer part of Zoya Akhtar’s next, titled Gully Boy. He was approached for the film and he was interested, but the dates are clashing with Shimit Amin’s next, so he has begged off. Varun Dhawan has now been approached for the part of a street rapper from a Mumbai chawl and his rise to fame.

Currently, Ranveer is busy shooting for Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati. After that and Shimit’s next, Ranveer will start Rohit Shetty’s next in 2018, so his date diary is blocked for the next two years.

Ranveer and Zoya became friends during Dil Dhadakne Do and both were keen to do another film together, but it didn’t work out. Says a source, “Ranveer loved the subject, but finally had to let go. He tried his best to work out the dates for Zoya’s film for the last three months, but Amin’s romantic drama produced by YRF, begins shooting next year and is a romantic drama. The female lead of the film is a newcomer.”

The source adds that Zoya, who is currently scripting the film along with Reema Kagti, has now approached Varun. “Ranveer’s first loyalty is with YRF, hence when it was obvious he had to choose between Zoya and Shimit, he opted for his mentor Aditya Chopra’s production. Varun has liked Zoya’s story and is trying to work out his dates for the film, which starts next year.”

Earlier in an interview when quizzed about the project, Zoya chose to keep mum. “Nothing has been sealed till now. It’s too premature to make any announcement. But yes, I love Ranveer and would love to work with him,” she said.

The inspiration
Buzz is that Zoya’s Gully Boy is inspired by two rappers Divine (Vivian Fernandes) and Naezy (Naved Sheikh) and their rap-to-riches stories. Naezy and lyricist Gulzar are said to be writing the lyrics.

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