Farah Khan's husband Shirish Kunder continues to have problems with his ambitious project Joker. When earlier Shah Rukh Khan was to play the male lead and produce the film, Akshay Kumar was a part of the project. In fact, Kunder had decided to produce the film himself. Now, Akshay has walked out of the project and Saif Ali Khan will play the title role of Joker in the film.

Our source says, "Shirish had creative differences with SRK and the two had a fall-out following which, Akshay also had a change of mind. It is not clear if he was having second thoughts about the role or whether it was the money he was offered. He sent a message to Kunder that he is not interested in the film anymore."

Our source adds, "Naturally, Kunder was disappointed. However, he wasted no time and roped in Saif Ali Khan to play the title role. In fact, Saif is very enthusiastic about the film."

Akshay remained unavailable for comment. However, one of his very close friends from the industry confirms the news, "Yes, it is true that Akshay has turned down Kunder's film."

Editor-turned-filmmaker Kunder, who has directed Jaan-e-man, plans to start work on Joker in early 2009 and release it by the end of the year. Joker which is set in the future is an action comedy.