'Heeramandi': What we know so far about SLB's Netflix series?
Netflix announced its collaboration with Sanjay Leela Bhansali on the day when the latter completed 25 years in the Hindi film industry. The streamer and ace filmmaker are set to bring a Netflix Original series, titled Heeramandi. There has been no announcement about the cast, however, reports suggested that Bhansali might rope in Aishwarya Rai Bachchan for his digital debut show. Here's more.
A source told Bollywood Hungama that Bhansali wanted to cast Rekha, but her Fitoor incident changed his mind. "Bhansali's enthusiasm to sign Rekha was considerably dampened by her treatment of director Abhishek Kapoor during the making of Fitoor when Rekha had to be dropped overnight and replaced by Tabu," the source said. To avoid such situations, Bhansali might now cast his trusted collaborator, Bachchan.
If reports are to be believed, the series will also see Alia Bhatt, alongside Bachchan. Apparently, the actress, who has worked with Bhansali in Gangubai Kathiawadi, requested the filmmaker to cast her in the series. She was ready to do any role without charging "a penny." Now, Bhatt would reportedly be a part of the project and would also be paid her "market price."
And the streaming giant is going all out in backing the series. Apparently Netflix has paid a stunning Rs. 35 crore to Bhansali for just the first season of Heeramandi. According to another Bollywood Hungama report, it will feature seven episodes and SLB will helm the first one. Meanwhile, the rest of the episodes will reportedly be directed by Vibhu Puri under Bhansali's supervision.
As every Bhansali project has done, Heeramandi too has started a debate. This time, Pakistani artists have raised a question on this venture, as it'll showcase the lives of Lahore-based courtesans. They opine that such a series should only be made by a Pakistani, but if they do, "a fatwa will be issued and producers will lose their money," said actress Hira Tareen.