The casting for Heera Mandi has begun in right earnest. Among the actresses likely to be a part of the cast are Alia Bhatt, Huma Qureshi,Sonakshi Sinha and Tanve Azmi.
The deal with Netflix is for seven episodes of Heera Mandi in Season 1 followed by seven more episodes in Season 2.
An informed source reveals, “The first episode is being directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali himself. The other 6 episodes will be directed by Bhansali’s erstwhile assistant Vibhu Puri.”
The series will have an abundance of songs and music, all composed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Heera Mandi is being designed as Bhansali’s own Pakeezah.
Says Bhansali,, “Though there is no similarity in the plot except the tawaif (courtesan) angle Heera Mandi would be my tribute to one of my favourite films Pakeezah.However the tribute is neither visual not emotional. It is more in spirit than in flesh.”
Says Sanjay Leela Bhansali, “How can Pakeezah not be at the back of a director’s mind when he is making a film about the tawaif culture? However Heera Mandi won’t resemble Pakeezah in look or mood. We already have Pakeezah. There is no need for another.”