Sanjay Leela Bhansali considered Fawad Khan, Mahira Khan for 'Heeramandi'

Series went through numerous changes in cast

Entertainment Desk May 01, 2024

After naysayers relentlessly trolled actor Imran Abbas for saying that he was offered major Bollywood roles, the stars have aligned to prove him right. At the Los Angeles premiere of Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar, filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali confirmed that Imran was indeed a contender, as were two other huge Pakistani household names.

Bhansali unveiled insights into the show's journey, revealing its evolution from a potential film starring huge names from India and Pakistan, to its current stellar cast, with which the celebrated director is also deeply satisfied, as per Indian Express.

Whilst in conversation with Lilly Singh, Bhansali opened up about the long-drawn casting process, shedding light on just how convoluted the process of Heeramandi has been. "This was 18 years ago so at one point it was Rekha ji, Kareena and Rani Mukerji. Then it changed into another cast, then it changed into another cast," revealed the filmmaker.

In a shocking scoop, however, the filmmaker shared how the creative journey with Heeramandi wasn't without its twists and turns. He revealed considering Pakistani actors Mahira Khan, Fawad Khan, and Imran Abbas for roles in the show before the plans changed.

Imran, as many will already know, has previously acknowledged being approached for a role in the series, and shared the LA interview clip to his Instagram Stories as a shut-up call to all those who did not believe his claims. When the host displayed a shocked demeanour, Bhansali layered the scoop with a cherry on top, saying that this was when Heeramandi was supposed to be a film, highlighting the convoluted path it took to reach the premiere of the series.

Despite the ever-changing landscape of casting decisions, Bhansali expressed profound contentment with the final ensemble that graced the screens in his magnum opus. The lineup, featuring distinguished talents such as Manisha Koirala, Sonakshi Sinha, Richa Chadha, and Aditi Rao Hydari, embodies Bhansali's discerning vision for the narrative for which many are excited.

Set to premiere on May 1, the web series serves as Bhansali's daring expedition into the world of pre-Independence Lahore, diving deep into the intricate lives of courtesans and nawabs. This ambitious project is a testament to Bhansali's unwavering commitment to storytelling excellence, reflected in the meticulous craftsmanship that has unfolded over an extensive production journey spanning nearly three years, with over 300 days dedicated to the art of capturing cinematic magic.

With the much-anticipated release of Heeramandi on the horizon, all set to enrapture audiences, aficionados of Bhansali's cinematic brilliance eagerly anticipate his forthcoming, equally thrilling Love and War. This cinematic venture created a splash as soon as the cast was announced, given that the formidable talents of Alia Bhatt, Ranbir Kapoor, and Vicky Kaushal will be put to use. The dynamic is set to be interesting and audiences cannot help but anticipate the chemistry between this trio.

Building upon their previous collaborations with the director, Alia's memorable portrayal in Gangubai Kathiawadi and Ranbir's debut in the enchanting Saawariya, the anticipation for their reunion under Bhansali's visionary direction amplifies the excitement surrounding this upcoming cinematic spectacle.

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