Mahira Khan, Fawad Khan, and Imran Abbas Were Once Bhansali’s Choice for ‘Heeramandi’

Acclaimed Bollywood filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali recently revealed that his initial casting choices for the Netflix series ‘Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar’ included Pakistani actors Mahira Khan, Fawad Khan, and Imran Abbas. This revelation came during a discussion at the Los Angeles premiere of the series.

Bhansali shared that the idea of ‘Heeramandi’ was conceived as a film 18 years ago. At that time, he had envisioned a different cast for the project, which included Bollywood diva Rekha, Kareena Kapoor Khan, and Rani Mukerji. However, the cast underwent several changes over the years.

In a surprising turn of events, Bhansali disclosed that at one point, he had also considered casting Pakistani actors Mahira Khan, Fawad Khan, and Imran Abbas. However, the plans changed, and the project eventually evolved into a web series.

Imran Abbas had previously acknowledged being approached for a role in the series. The confirmation from Bhansali about considering Abbas for ‘Heeramandi’ has validated Abbas’s claim.

Despite the numerous changes in the cast, Bhansali expressed profound satisfaction with the final ensemble that graced the screens in his magnum opus. The lineup includes distinguished talents such as Manisha Koirala, Sonakshi Sinha, Richa Chadha, and Aditi Rao Hydari.

Bhansali praised the cast for their dedication and commitment to the project. He highlighted that the cast members dedicated over 350 days to the shooting of 'Heeramandi’. He added that popular actors might not have been able to commit such an extensive amount of time due to their busy schedules.

‘Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar’ marks Bhansali’s debut as a director in the world of web series. The series delves into the intricate lives of courtesans and nawabs in pre-Independence Lahore. The ambitious project reflects Bhansali’s unwavering commitment to storytelling excellence, as evident in the meticulous craftsmanship that unfolded over an extensive production journey spanning nearly three years.

With the much-anticipated release of ‘Heeramandi’ on May 1, 2024, aficionados of Bhansali’s cinematic brilliance eagerly anticipate his forthcoming project 'Love and War’. This cinematic venture has already created a buzz with the announcement of its cast, which includes formidable talents like Alia Bhatt, Ranbir Kapoor, and Vicky Kaushal.

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