Sanjay Leela Bhansali is gearing up to direct his next  venture. And it is most likely that he will be working with Deepika Padukone again for the fourth time after Ram Leela, Bajirao Mastani and Padmaavat. There was talk of  Alia Bhatt stepping into Bhansali territory. And both the director and the actress were very keen on the  creative  alliance.  But then Karan  Johar who has always admired Bhansali’s version of epic, larger-than-life costume drama, announced Kalank , a la Bhansali.

He naturally wanted  Alia to be  part  of his dream. Says a  source  close to the development, “Much as Alia would love to be a Sanjay Leela Bhansali heroine — and who wouldn’t want to work with the master creator?— her first priority  is Karan Johar whom she considers a  father figure. The minute Karan  initiated  the  Kalank project, Alia abandoned all plans to work with Bhansali, at least for now.”

This is  the second time  things haven’t worked out between Alia and Bhansali. Several years ago when Alia was  barely 11, she was offered the role of a child bride in Bhansali’s Hamari Jaan Ho Tum. But  the project never got off the ground.

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