After Alia Bhatt and Salman Khan starrer Inshallah got shelved, Sanjay Leela Bhansali announced another film that stars Alia Bhatt in the lead role. The film called Gangubai Kathiawadi is a tale of Kamathipura's brothel madam Gangubai who has devotees all over that area who worship her for her powers. This will be Alia's first film with the ace director Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
After announcing the project and the lead actress of the film, Pinkvilla reported that the makers have now roped in the television heartthrob Shantanu Maheshwari to play a prominent role in the film. Shantanu is a popular face in the television industry and well known for his spectacular dancing skills. He was last seen in the popular dance reality show Nach Baliye where he was one of the top five contestants.
Talking about his role in the film, a source told Pinkvilla, "Sanjay Leela Bhansali was looking for a fresh face who would carry that innocence but still be convincing in a dark role. The team had auditioned Shantanu Maheshwari and they loved his tape. SLB also was immensely impressed by him and he has now officially signed on to play one of the lead roles opposite Alia in the film.
He plays the role of Afsan in Gangubai. He will kickstart shoot for the film soon in Mumbai. Currently, the makers are filming Alia's portions as a younger Gangubai in Film City."