Bollywood is atwitter with excitement over hot shot director S. Shankar's newest project, a sci-fi thriller called Robot. Shankar, who has written, produced, and directed some of the industry's top films over the past decade and a half (including this year's Sivaji, whose trailer you can thrill to above), calls Robot his "dream project." It's scheduled to begin shotting in December. But like any good Bollywood film, it's mired in drama, even before getting made.

For a while, Shankar had Shah Rkh Khan, Bollywood's favorite stud muffin, locked in to play the lead male role in Robots. But late last month, Kahn opted out of the role, allegedly because the script was "not convincing." And so the search continues.

Bloggers and rumorists chatter fearfully about the possibility that Shankar might not do the film at all. Which is a really big deal, because 1. It would be one of the only Hindi films by the Tamil director; 2. It has a giant budget; and 3. Hopes abound that this futuristic sci-fi flick will make it big, not just in Bollywood but in Hollywood, California.

The details of the unconvincing plot have yet to be divulged.