Bajirao Mastani is an upcoming Indian historical romance film produced and directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. The film narrates the story of the Maratha warrior Peshwa (Prime Minister) Bajirao I of the Maratha Empire and his second wife Mastani. Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone portray the titular protagonists, and Priyanka Chopra plays Bajirao’s first wife Kashibai. The film is scheduled to be released on 18 December 2015.
The film was first announced in 2003. Sanjay Leela Bhansali initially wanted to cast Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai (his lead pair from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam) for the eponymous roles, but could not cast them together after their highly publicised break-up. In July 2003, there were reports that Bhansali had cast Khan and Kareena Kapoor as the lead pair with Rani Mukerji playing Baji Rao’s first wife. During his appearance on season 1 of the popular talk show Koffee with Karan, Bhansali stated that he scrapped the casting of Khan and Kapoor after the pair signed other films together as he wanted to be the first director to showcase their pairing. Bhansali shelved Bajirao Mastani and went on to direct Black (2005), Saawariya (2007), Guzaarish (2010), and Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela (2013). Throughout these ten years, media speculation continued about the production and casting of Bajirao Mastani. Several actors were rumoured to be linked to the project including Shahrukh Khan, Ajay Devgn, Hrithik Roshan, Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, and Katrina Kaif.
In July 2014, it was confirmed that Bhansali had revived the project with Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone (the lead pair of Bhansali’s Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela) playing the titular roles and Priyanka Chopra playing Bajirao’s first wife, Kashibai. Both Singh and Padukone will undergo extensive preparation for their roles. Bhansali has reportedly approached Daksha Sheth to train the pair in Kalaripayattu, an ancient Indian martial art. Sheth will also train Padukone in the dance style of Kathak. Classical Kathak dancer Pandit Birju Maharaj has also choreographed a Kathak song for Padukone. Singh will be required to learn Marathi, learn horseback riding, and shave his head for the role.In addition, the role of Baji Rao will require Singh to gain weight to build his physique. In preparation for her role of Kashibai, Chopra took a 15-day coaching course and she will also be undergoing language training in a dialect of Marathi spoken during the time of the ascension of the Peshwas.
In September 2014, it was confirmed that Tanvi Azmi was cast for the role of Bajirao’s mother. Other actresses reportedly considered for this role were Shabana Azmi, Dimple Kapadia, and Supriya Pathak.Tanvi has gone completely bald for her role. In November 2014, the actresses for the roles of Bajirao’s sisters were finalised with Sukhada Khandkekar cast as Anubai and Anuja Gokhale as Bhiubai.Mahesh Manjrekar has been cast to play Maratha Emperor Chhattrapati Shahu in the film. The film’s costumes will be designed by Anju Modi.It was announced in January 2015 that actor Vaibhav Tatwawadi was chosen to play Bajirao’s younger brother, Chimaji Appa. Sonal Dighe will be acting as Ranveer Singh’s secretary.
Dilwale, Bajirao Mastani clash at box office: Will Bajirao be able to defeat King Khan Shah Rukh ?
Bajirao has taken over single screen theatres:
Screen numbers will matter for the first three days. More the number of screens, greater will be the footfalls and larger the box-office collections. Buzz is Eros has booked a majority of single screen theatres across the country as part of a deal inked while distributing Salman Khan’s ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’ during Eid this year. Veteran distributor Ramesh Sippy agrees, “For the moment, the balance is titled slightly in favour of ‘Bajirao Mastani’ since they have single screens with them.” (PHOTOS: Dilwale Vs Bajirao Mastani – Bollywood’s epic clash on December 18)