Bhansali & Balaji fight over ‘Bajirao Mastani’

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TV queen, Ekta Kapoor has exchanged a war of words with popular filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali after the latter announced plans to make his TV debut with a version of ‘Bajirao Mastani’.

Ekta Kapoor of Balaji Telefilms has been working on the idea for over three months and is readying the launch of the show for early next year; however Bhansali wants to get in there first.

A source told Times Of India, “He is trying to sabotage Ekta’s plans. But then everything is fair in love and war. And these two are currently locked in a big business battle. People in the film and television circles are talking about it. Some of them are caught in the crossfire.”

The source added, “Bajirao Mastani is very close to Bhansali’s heart. He keeps reviving it every few years. He had started working on it before Saawariya and Guzaarish. He would love it if he can put just that on floors very soon.”

Bhansali has refused to give up on his magnum opus, which was originally to star Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Salman Khan. Based on the story of the renowned Maratha general Peshwa Bajirao and his half-Muslim second wife Mastani, the film hit a roadblock when Salman and Aishwarya parted ways.

He considered making the film with Salman and Kareena in 2005 but dropped the idea because both signed another project with Priyadarshan. Rumour had it that Bhansali wanted exclusivity for his lead pair.

Bhansali, who is about to make his own debut as a TV producer, has hired Ekta’s right hand person Ravindra Gautam, who worked on ‘Bade Achche Lagte Hain’.

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