Poonam Singh

Sanjay Leela Bhansali's much-awaited web series debut, Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar, finally hits screens today.

Featuring a star-studded cast including Sonakshi Sinha, Aditi Rao Hydari, Manisha Koirala, Richa Chadha among others, the series has already garnered immense excitement with its lavish promotions.

In a surprising revelation, Bhansali unveiled his original picks for the show during the Los Angeles premiere. He disclosed that he initially envisioned Rekha, Kareena Kapoor Khan, and Rani Mukerji for the lead roles. Later, the cast evolved to include Pakistani actors Mahira Khan and Fawad Khan.

In a Reddit video gaining viral traction, Bhansali reminisced, "This was 18 years ago, at one point it was Rekha ji, Kareena, and Rani Mukerji." 

Bhansali further elaborated on the cast changes, mentioning Mahira Khan, Imran Abbas, and Fawad Khan's involvement at one stage. Despite the change in casting, fans remain eager for the series, anticipating Bhansali's trademark aesthetics and mastery of period dramas.

"Rekha, Kareena and Rani were my first choices for Heeramandi." - Sanjay Leela Bhansali
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Heeramandi unravels a tale set against the backdrop of the Indian Independence struggle in the 1940s, delving into the world of courtesans in Lahore's district of Heera Mandi. The official synopsis reads, "The scheming Mallikajaan (Manisha Koirala) rules over an elite house of courtesans, but a new rival threatens her reign as rebellion brews in British-ruled India.”