Hrithik Roshan
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Hrithik opts out of Karan's next

Hrithik Roshan

Mumbai, Feb. 10 -- Last month, Kareena Kapoor Khan had admitted that she didn't know when Shuddhi, in which she and Hrithik Roshan were to act, was going on floors.

"I haven't met Karan Johar (producer), and Hrithik is busy with Bang Bang. Whenever the movie goes on floors, I'll decide whether to do it," she had said"    

The film has been repeatedly postponed, primarily due to Hrithik's head injury and subsequent surgery. Perhaps that is a factor behind the latest development, where the actor has opted out of the film.

"Karan Malhotra (director) and I have decided to unite in the most ambitious way post Shuddhi. For now, I cannot allow a vision like Shuddhi to stagnate any further," Hrithik said in a statement.    

The actor-director duo have earlier worked together on Agneepath (2012). Hrithik says that he "had the finest experience an actor can have working with Karan Malhotra (in Agneepath), and I'm sure both my dear Karans are going to go beyond with this one! Shuddhi remains a part of me in spirit and am sure it will be a landmark in our cinema. (sic)"    

Plans for the film were first announced almost two years ago, with shooting slated to begin this year and a release slated for 2015. Now, despite Hrithik's exit, insiders insist that the film is "very much on". An insider adds, "There is no question of shelving it. The project is very close to both the Karans' hearts." Only a few days ago, Johar had said in an interview that the film may take six months to a year, to go on the floors.