Bollywood fans have been eagerly waiting for Sanjay Leela Bhansali to make a comeback to direction very soon. His last outing, Padmaavat starring Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor was loved by many; however, it did receive some criticism prior to its release. Earlier this year, Sanjay announced that he will start filming for his next film Inshaallah with Alia Bhatt and Salman Khan, but after the latter pulled out from the movie, it was indefinitely shelved. Later, it was confirmed that Alia would in fact be working with the ace filmmaker, but it would be for Gangubai Kathiawadi instead of Inshaallah. But that’s not the only project that Sanjay announced. Earlier this year, he made yet another announcement – stating that he will also be helming another project called Baiju Bawra which will release in Diwali 2021.
While it was earlier not confirmed who will play the lead opposite Alia in Gangubai Kathiawadi, reports now reveal that Ajay Devgn will be roped in for the project. Ajay and Sanjay last worked together 20 years ago in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and two seem to be excited to reunite. A source close to the production team told Bollywood Hungama, “Last week, Ajay Devgn and Sanjay Leela Bhansali met at Anand Pandit’s Diwali party and chatted for hours. They caught up on a lot of stuff and that’s when Sanjay also invited him over to his office. Ajay dropped in a couple of days after that and they had meeting for more than a couple of hours. Sanjay offered him two scripts – a biopic and the other fictional, a love story, which is said to be Baiju Bawra. In Baiju Bawra the actor was offered the role of Tansen. However, Ajay liked his role in Gangubai as it’s an intense character – a mobster with a golden heart who teaches Gangubai the tricks of the trade and falls in love with her.”
But the insider also added that Ajay has not signed the film yet and would like to do it on an auspicious date with an official announcement sometime this week. It said, “The star showed the famous filmmaker some scenes his next project, a historical action drama, Tanhaji and Sanjay who himself excels in such period dramas was quite impressed. Apart from both these movies, the filmmaker also offered him another action drama based on a warrior film, which will be directed by Sanjay, at a later date. Ajay’s role in Gangubai is an extremely powerful and passionate one and will be remembered in cinema for the depth and romance in it.”
On the other hand, ever since Sanjay’s other project, Baiju Bawra has been announced; fans want to know who will be taking the lead this time. And it looks like Sanjay’s favourite, Ranveer Singh will be roped in to take the role of Baiju. A source close to Bhansali Productions revealed, “While Gangubai Kathiawadi is more of a dark emotional, action drama of the world of brothels, crime, dons and rich men who visit the world of brothels, Baiju Bawra is a pure musical and a dramatized version of the story of the uniquely talented singer Baiju Bawra. It’s to Sanjay’s credit that he is choosing to direct two projects in stark contrast to the other. And the filmmaker has offered the lead and title role of the young Baiju Bawra to Ranveer Singh. Who else can play the passionate, emotional, deeply vengeful and yet intensely romantic Baiju, than Ranveer? Sanjay and Ranveer have definitely met and the filmmaker has offered the young actor the role of Baiju Bawra. The movie won’t start before next year and by then Ranveer would have completed his other films.”
The insider also shed light on the female lead in Baiju Bawra suggested two actresses who Sanjay has worked with before. It stated, “If Ranveer gives his nod to the movie, it will be again another challenging role for him as he will need some training and knowledge as a singer and musician. It will be interesting to see who plays his romantic interest – will it be Deepika Padukone or Priyanka Chopra? Priyanka holds an edge as she’s an internationally acclaimed singer in her own right.” While many fans would like Deepika to star next to her real life husband, Ranveer in the film, there is also a very high chance of the actress’ next film to clash with that of Ranveer.
Earlier this week, it was announced that after Chhapaak and ’83, Deepika will be working on a new film called Mahabharat. She will be essaying the role of Draupadi and it will tell the epic tale of Mahabharat from a women’s perspective this time. Not only will Deepika be acting in the film, but she will be co-producing it as well. However, much like Baiju Bawra, Mahabharat is also expected to hit screens on Diwali 2021. This means that the husband and wife are likely to have their films – both equally big – clash at the box office. It seems like Sanjay has got a busy few years ahead of him. As of now, Alia, Ranveer and Ajay have been confirmed to work with the filmmaker. Announcements of no other actors or actress playing other titular roles have not been made. Gangubai Kathiawadi will be loosely based on Hussain Zaidi’s Mafia Queens of Mumbai, whereas Baiju Bawra will revolve around the musical battle between Baiju and Tansen.