Aishwarya and Salman's 'legendary love story' might be revived

Sanjay Leela Bhansali apparently refuses to give up on his magnum opus, originally to star Aishwarya and Salman as the legendary lovers

Sanjay Leela Bhansali has once again revived his pet project Bajirao Mastani after announcing it in 2003.

Based on the epic love story of the renowned Maratha general Peshwa Bajirao and his half-Muslim second wife Mastani, the filmmaker's magnum opus hit a roadblock when the then couple Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai his original choice to play the infamous lovers split.

A source says, "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 won't breathe easy till the project sees the light of the day.

He even considered making the film with Salman and Kareena in 2005, but dropped the idea because both actors had signed another film with Priyadarshan. 

Bhansali feared that his lead pair would lose exclusivity and charm if they did another film together at the same time."

However, the filmmaker is relentless. He refuses to give up on the project, but making the film now may be an even bigger challenge for him.

For one, he may not be able to rope in Salman given the strained relations between the two of late. Plus, Sallu's schedule is jam-packed and he'd have to wait a minimum of two years to get his dates.

The bigger problem, however, would be finances. Post his two flops, Saawariya and Guzaarish, he may not find it easy to generate the kind of budget he'd need to make a film of this magnitude.

And the best Bajirao-Mastani pair would be...

Madhurjeet Sarghi, Theatre and TV actress: I think Bhansali should go for new faces with an established supporting cast. I strongly feel that love epics work best with newcomers as opposed to stars. In case he has to take a star, then Ranbir Kapoor is very talented.  

Shreyas, Advertising professional: Bhansali should make the film with Salman. Without him the film, should not be made. There can be no replacement for Salman.

Sandeep Singhvi, Ad filmmaker: Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor have great chemistry on screen.

Aditi Todi, Tv producer: I can't think of anyone else for an epic love story, but Aishwarya and Hrithik. Aishwarya has this ethereal charm. She was stunning in Jodha Akbar and Umrao Jaan.

Our pick

We think that the tall, dark and handsome Ajay Devgn would fit the role to the T. His intense looks make him a perfect choice for the Maratha warrior.

And Kareena Kapoor will be the ideal choice for Mastani. It will be good to see the pair who shared great chemistry in Omkara playing lovers again.