Zero is an upcoming 2018 Indian romantic drama film written by Himanshu Sharma and directed by Aanand L. Rai. The film is jointly produced by Rai and Red Chillies Entertainment’s Gauri Khan. It stars Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma. The plot follows Khan as a man of short stature, who falls in love with a superstar played by Kaif. Sharma portrays the character of a girl with intellectual disability.
The film was conceived by Rai in 2012, announced in 2016, and set to be released on 21 December 2018. It marks the second collaboration of the lead trio, the fourth collaboration between Khan and Sharma and the second collaboration between Khan and Kaif. This marks the last film appearance of Sridevi, who died on February 24, 2018, shortly after completing the film.
Initially, Salman Khan was approached for the role in 2012. The role then went to Shah Rukh Khan. His casting was confirmed in March 2016. He plays a three-four foot physically challenged man. Rai cast Khan to play the lead role because he needed a big star for the story to penetrate globally. He needed “an intelligent actor, who also can carry that happy-go-lucky attitude,” and he felt Khan possessed those qualities. Rai realised the difference between a six-foot tall person saying “I love you” and a four foot tall person; hence he hired Khan. Khan is the fourth actor of normal stature in Indian cinema to play a little person after Kamal Haasan in Apoorva Sagodharargal (1989), Johnny Lever in Aashiq (2001) and Anupam Kher in Jaan-E-Mann (2006).
After much speculation, Rai confirmed Anushka Sharma and Katrina Kaif as the female lead actors in the film in June 2017. Kaif was cast after Salman Khan suggested her. Sharma was reported to play a differently-abled person, whereas Kaif confirmed that she will portray the role of an actress. Both Sharma and Kaif were offered the role not because of their stardom but because they fit the role according to Rai. According to Kaif, she was offered the film before Khan was cast. She was initially supposed to play herself in the film, but the character was later revised to be a satirical take on herself. She later confirmed that the script and story of Zero had changed over two years, hinting that Khan recommended this.
Tigmanshu Dhulia will portray Khan’s father. He showed interest in the project after hearing about its heavy technical involvements. Khan refrained from signing any other film during Zero’s production. The film will feature guest appearances by Salman Khan, Deepika Padukone, Rani Mukerji, Kajol, Alia Bhatt, Sridevi, Karisma Kapoor and Juhi Chawla who will portray themselves. This will be Sridevi’s last appearance in a movie as she died before the release.]
Starring: Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif, Anushka Sharma,