Deepika Padukone locked and loaded in new 'Pathaan' poster

'Pathaan' starring Shah Rukh Khan hits theaters on January 25.

To celebrate Deepika Padukone's birthday on Thursday, star Shah Rukh Khan unveiled a special poster featuring her in the upcoming film Pathaan ) in the role. A Hindi-language spy thriller from Siddharth Anand, Pathaan is Khan's return to the starring role after a hiatus of more than four years.

Padukone's lithe personality can be seen in the film's trailer, as well as in two previously released songs. One of them, "Besharam Rang," became quite controversial after some on the right launched attacks on certain visuals, prompting concern from the head of the Indian censor board.

A new poster shows Padukone's character posing stylishly with a gun in her hand and scratches on her face. She seemed to be standing by a hole, looking ready to go. We'll get a better look at her role when the film's first trailer is released, supposedly next week. Sharing the poster, Khan wrote in an Instagram post: "To my dearest @deepikapadukone - how you have evolved to have screens in every avatar! Always proud and always wishing you to scale new heights…  Happy birthday...with love..."^ Khan and Padukone's famous collaboration 2007 debut novel Om Shanti Om. Later, they co-starred in the blockbusters "Happy New Year" and "Chennai Express". They both had cameo appearances in the recent fantasy drama Brahma: Part I - Shiva, but didn't share any scenes.

One of the world's most recognizable stars, Khan is on self-abuse after his ambitious 2018 rom-com, Bomb Zero. Padukone is best known for three hit films directed by BAFTA-nominated Sanjay Leela Bhansali - Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela, Bajirao Mastani and Padmaavat. In 2022, she starred in the crush drama Gehraiyaan, followed by a cameo in the comedy film Circus starring her husband Ranveer Singh. Next, she will reunite with Pathaan director Anand in another action flick "Fighter," in which she will star alongside Hrithik Roshan. Western audiences may recognize her from xXx: Return of Xander Cage, in which she played Serena Unger opposite Vin Diesel's protagonist. She's also signed on to star in and co-produce STXFilms' upcoming cross-cultural romantic comedy, as well as a Hindi remake of Nancy Meyers' The Intern.

Also starring John Abraham The villain Pathaan is said to be part of the shared universe of spy films produced by Yash Raj Films, which also includes the Tiger franchise starring Salman Khan, including Ek Tha Tiger and Tiger Zinda Hai. SRK and Salman have reportedly made cameos for the upcoming third Tiger movie and Pathaan, respectively. Note that the shared universe - which was put together retroactively - is said to also include the movie "War" starring Roshan. Pathaan will be released in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu theaters on January 25. You can take a better look at the poster here:

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