Alia Bhatt as the Mafia Queen in Bhansali’s ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’

Alia Bhatt has been confirmed as the lead in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s upcoming film Gangubai Kathiawadi. The film will be co-produced by Bhansali Productions and PEN India and is expected to release on 11 September, 2020.

Alia announced the news on social media calling it “special”.

In his book Mafia Queens of Mumbai, investigative journalist and writer Hussain Zaidi describes Gangubai Kathiawadi as one of the top madams of Mumbai’s red-light district Kamathipura. She had been sold into prostitution by her boyfriend and turned one of its biggest supporters. However, she harboured a soft corner for young women forced into the trade.

While the male lead in the film is yet to be confirmed, it was rumoured that Alia’s Gully Boy co-star Ranveer Singh was supposed to make a cameo but turned it down. However, according to a source quoted by Times of India, there was never any question of Ranveer featuring in the film.

Alia Bhatt was initially supposed to star opposite Salman Khan in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Inshallah. The film was scheduled to hit theatres on Eid 2020, but in August, the director confirmed that it had been shelved. While there has been no official word on why the film was abandoned, it has been suggested that there were irreconcilable creative differences between Salman and Bhansali. Salman reportedly wanted the director to change the second half, especially the end.

Alia will also star opposite Ranbir Kapoor in Brahmastra, the first part of a fantasy trilogy that is being directed by Ayan Mukerji and produced by Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions. It is expected to release on Christmas next year.

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