Not Alia Bhatt or Priyanka Chopra, Rani Mukerji was Sanjay Leela Bhansali's first choice for 'Gangubai Kathiawadi'?


Alia Bhatt was earlier supposed to work with Bhansali in Inshallah, starring Salman Khan, and the film was meant to be an Eid 2020 release. However, due to reasons unknown, the film got shelved and SLB almost immediately announced a film with her titled Gangubai Kathiawadi, leaving avid cinema watchers excited. Based on a brothel madam from the red light area, Kamathipura in Mumbai, Gangubai Kathiawadi is said to be inspired by a chapter from the book Mafia Queens Of Mumbai.

The buzz on Gangubai Kathiawadi's casting refuses to die down and rumours of Priyanka Chopra being cast for the part were doing the rounds until Alia's name was finally announced. But did you know it was not Alia or Priyanka but Rani Mukerji, with whom SLB wanted to make this project? Well, according to a report in a leading daily, Rani was the first choice of Bhansali. “Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s film ‘Gangubai’ was initially to be made with Rani Mukerji in the lead. However, things didn’t work out with Rani and that’s when he decided to ask Priyanka Chopra while filming ‘Bajirao Mastani’. The project couldn’t take off as PeeCee was running on a tight schedule while also pursuing a career in Hollywood," the daily quoted a source as saying. 

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“When ‘Inshalla’ got shelved, Bhansali already had a film ready to take on floors. With Alia’s dates booked, he decided to greenlight ‘Gangubai’ which was in the making for a very long time. SLB is also known to revisit his films again and again. ‘Ram Leela’ and ‘Bajirao Mastani’ were both on the shelve for the longest time before they finally began rolling after Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone came on board," added the source. Nonetheless, all's well that ends well and we cannot wait to see Alia as Gangubai Kathiawadi.

The film will release on September 11, 2020.

(Source: The Times of India)