Contrary to impressions, Alia Bhatt was not Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s first choice for his upcoming film, Gangubai Kathiawadi. He had earmarked the role for his favourite, Deepika Padukone.
However, two factors played truant — firstly, Deepika was already playing a gangster in Vishal Bhardawaj’s Sapna Didi, a story authored by Hussain Zaidi (who also wrote Bhansali’s Gangubai Kathiawadi). A source tells us that Deepika was hesitant about doing two back-to-back lady gangster roles.
However, Sapna Didi got shelved, and while Deepika would have happily returned to the Bhansali territory, she was keen on co-producing Gangubai Kathiawadi with Bhansali, our sources tell us.
“But he was not ready to do that. They parted amicably over the issue. That’s how Alia came into the project. But Bhansali can’t live too far away from Deepika’s territory. She will be back in his cinema with his next Baiju Bawra,” one of our sources tells us.