A leading publication reports that Bhansali first spoke about this project in 1999 and which is best remembered for the acrimonious fallout between his chosen lead pair in 2002 – Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai. Bhansali is hoping to cast his Ram Leela heroine Deepika Padukone as Mastani and Katrina Kaif as Bajirao’s wife Kashibai, and is in talks with both actresses.
The publication quoted a source as saying, “After Ram Leela releases in October 2013, Bhansali will start with the pre-production of Bajirao Mastani. He will begin shooting in April 2014. Apparently, Bhansali has had a word with both Deepika and Katrina. The girls have shown tremendous interest.”