Deepika Padukone in 'Project K' and Zendaya in 'Dune'
Deepika Padukone in 'Project K' and Zendaya in 'Dune' Image Credit: Instagram/IMdB

It was meant to be a fitting surprise birthday gift for Deepika Padukone yesterday, but the makers of ‘Project K’ – also starring Prabhas – were in for a nasty surprise as the reactions to it were mixed.

Indian movie fans were quick to draw parallels between the first poster of Padukone in 'Project K' to Hollywood actress Zendaya’s look in ‘Dune’, the 2021 Western film starring Timothee Chalamet.

And we don’t blame them. Both seem to be sporting rugged silhouette look against a mountainous terrain and the setting sun behind her. Even their choice of wardrobe seems similar in the poster captioned: "A Hope In The Dark".

As soon as the makers released the poster wishing their leading lady on her special day with: “Here’s wishing our @DeepikaPadukone a very happy birthday”, movie-buffs called them out for their new look’s uncanny resemblance to Zendaya’s character in ‘Dune’, shot in Abu Dhabi.

Some Instagram users put it succinctly asking: “Dune?”, while other spelt it out claiming Padukone’s look reminded them clearly of Chalamet adventure.

‘Project K’, directed by Nag Ashwin, is touted as an ambitious Pan-Indian release, which simply means the big-budget extravaganza has a story line and star cast that will appeal to every movie buff in most Indian states.

The film also features an ensemble cast including the legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan and Disha Patani in prominent roles. The release date is yet to be finalized.

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It’s a big year, as always, for Padukone. She’s awaiting the release of director Siddharth Anand's upcoming action thriller film 'Pathaan' alongside Shah Rukh Khan and John Abraham, out in UAE cinemas on January 25.

Her roster is also filled with prestigious projects including the film ‘The Intern’ with Amitabh Bachchan and ‘Singham Again’ with director Rohit Shetty and actor Ajay Devgn.

Padukone turned 37 yesterday and remains one of India’s most recognizable faces.