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After Gangubai Kathiawadi, Sanjay Leela Bhansali announces Baiju Bawra

The film, which will tell the story of the legendary 16th century musician who once trumped Tansen in a singing contest, will be released during Diwali 2021.

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Shriram Iyengar

After the shelving of Inshallah starring Salman Khan, Sanjay Leela Bhansali has announced another major directorial venture, Baiju Bawra (2021). The production house announced the film, based on the life of the legendary 16th century singer, and said it would be released during Diwali 2021. 

Even as casting for Bhansali's next film, Gangubai Kathiawadi (2020), continues, the production house tweeted an announcement saying, "On this auspicious day, we are delighted to make your Diwali happier by announcing our next endeavour."

Titled Baiju Bawra: Revenge Story Of A Maverick Maestro, the film will track the story of Baiju Bawra, the legendary musician who once trumped Tansen, one of the nine jewels at the court of Akbar the Great.

The film's Diwali 2021 release date means it will clash with Deepika Padukone's upcoming production based on the story of Draupadi. The actress will reportedly play the titular role in that film.

This will be the first time mentor and mentee go up against each other if it happens. Padukone featured in Bhansali's three previous films — Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-leela (2013), Bajirao Mastani (2015) and Padmaavat (2018). 

The story of Baiju Bawra has previously been brought alive on screen by Vijay Bhatt in the 1952 blockbuster film of the same name. Baiju Bawra (1952) saw Bharat Bhushan play the title role while Meena Kumari made her debut as a leading lady. The film had music by Naushad and songs by Shakeel Badayuni sung by Hindustani classical greats Ustad Amir Khan and DV Paluskar, besides Mohammed Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar and Shamshad Begum.