Deepika Padukone to play dacoit queen in Bhansali's 'Baiju Bawra'?
Sanjay Leela Bhansali has reportedly approached his favorite go-to person, Deepika Padukone, to play the dacoit queen Roopmati in his next venture, Baiju Bawra. As per a new report, Bhansali had her fixed as the female lead in his mind for quite some time, and the actress is also keen to join the project. Currently, both sides are in the "advanced stages" of discussion.
A Pinkvilla report said Padukone has not completed the paperwork, as "things will be locked once both the stakeholders mutually agree on certain aspects." But "given the way things are proceeding at the moment, it's going to be a yes from DP," assured the source. An official announcement about the film is going to be made once the entire cast gets finalized.
According to a report by Pinkvilla, Bhansali has utilized the free time during the pandemic to "work on the script, screenplay, and music of Baiju Bawra." To recall, the director had announced the project back in 2019, with a reported Diwali 2021 release date in mind. Things have changed since then, as he is yet to finish shooting Alia Bhatt-led Gangubai Kathiawadi.
To note, Bhansali's version will be based on Vijay Bhatt's 1952 film by the same name. It starred Bharat Bhushan as Baiju, and had Meena Kumari playing his love interest, Gauri. In that musical, Kuldip Kaur had essayed the role of Roopmati. The film narrated how Baiju challenges Tansen to a musical duel, since he thinks the latter is responsible for his father's death.
The source close to the development added that Bhansali is likely to start its shooting by mid-2022, "if everything goes as planned, with actors giving a combination shooting dates." Nothing is known of the plot, but it will be a "prep heavy film" and so will begin only once the pandemic is completely under control. In the meantime, Bhansali will work on smaller projects.
For now, the 58-year-old has to complete the post-production for Gangubai and shoot a few episodes for Heera Mandi, a Netflix original with Sonakshi Sinha in the lead. News has it that Madhuri Dixit Nene might perform a mujra sequence for this web-series.
Previously, there were speculations about the filmmaker's next project. Some said Izhaar with Shah Rukh Khan will be the one, while a few reports indicated that it wasn't the case. Looks like they were correct! Separately, Izhaar, which is based on a true story of a man, who cycled all the way to Norway to reach his lover, marks Bhansali's second project with SRK.