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Sanjay Leela Bhansali pondered over Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan for ‘Heeramandi’.

The journey of the series saw numerous changes in its ensemble

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After facing skepticism over his claim of being offered significant Bollywood roles, actor Imran Abbas finds vindication as filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali reveals him as a contender alongside two other prominent Pakistani stars during the Los Angeles premiere of ‘Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar’.

Bhansali shared insights into the project’s evolution, initially conceived as a potential film featuring renowned names from both India and Pakistan. However, the director expressed satisfaction with the current stellar cast, as reported by Indian Express.

During a conversation with Lilly Singh, Bhansali unveiled the complex casting process spanning over 18 years, mentioning names like Rekha, Kareena, and Rani Mukerji at one point, followed by subsequent changes.

In a surprising revelation, Bhansali disclosed considering Pakistani actors Mahira Khan, Fawad Khan, and Imran Abbas for roles before the project underwent transformations.

Imran, who had previously acknowledged being approached for a role, shared the LA interview clip on his Instagram Stories, silencing doubters. Bhansali added another layer to the scoop, stating that the initial plan was for ‘Heeramandi’ to be a film, highlighting its tumultuous journey to the series premiere.

Despite the casting upheavals, Bhansali expressed deep satisfaction with the final ensemble, featuring talents like Manisha Koirala, Sonakshi Sinha, Richa Chadha, and Aditi Rao Hydari, embodying his vision for the narrative.

Scheduled for May 1 premiere, ‘Heeramandi’ explores pre-Independence Lahore’s world of courtesans and nawabs, showcasing Bhansali’s commitment to storytelling excellence. The project, spanning nearly three years with over 300 days of production, promises cinematic magic.

As anticipation builds for ‘Heeramandi’, fans eagerly await Bhansali’s next venture, ‘Love and War’, starring Alia Bhatt, Ranbir Kapoor, and Vicky Kaushal. The reunion of these talents under Bhansali’s direction amplifies excitement, following their memorable collaborations in previous projects like ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’ and ‘Saawariya’.

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