Mumbai: As Sanjay Leela Bhansali gets ready for the release of "Bajirao Mastani", its scriptwriter Prakash Kapadia says casting for the magnum opus was the most difficult thing as it went through many changes.
The period romance drama with Ranveer Singh as Bajirao, Deepika Padukone as Mastani and Priyanka Chopra as Kashi Bai hits the screens on December 18.
Earlier, the "Ram Leela" director wanted to make this historical saga with his "Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam" stars Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. But after they broke up things did not work and then names of several actors like Shah Rukh Khan and Ajay Devgn among others cropped up.
"Casting was definitely the difficult part for this film as it's a grand one. It (film) required a lot of hard work, dedication and time. Sanjay himself managed the casting... He did speak to a lot of actors but things were not working out earlier. Finally, we got our casting as it was their destiny," Kapadia told PTI in an interview.
Bhansali and Kapadia both have been working on the story since 12 years.
"We wanted to make it after "Devdas" but due to some reasons it got delayed," Kapadia said.
Considering the work on the script was going for several years the makers have made the film according to the taste and preferences of today's audience.
"Of course, we have made changes at the script level. Earlier, films used to run for three hours or so today we have increased the pace of the film as audiences have changed," Kapadia said.
Now that the trailer is out and it is garnering a positive response Kapadia is happy that all the hard work has paid off.
"We are very happy... Relaxed that people have liked the trailer. We are hopeful they will also like the film. It's a moment of happiness and sadness as well," he added.
The movie is based on a 1976 book, 'Rauu'.
"We acquired the rights of the book and worked closely with historian Ninad Bedekar. It was a difficult task as we had to revisit history... We had to work cautiously. It's a big task. It's a big responsibility," Kapadia said.
"We had historians helping us like Ninad Bedekar. Also, there are a lot of books on these characters. It was tough. But the story is amazing so you don't think of the hard work that you have put in," he said.
The film is set to release on December 18, and will clash with Rohit Shetty's "Dilwale" starring Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon.
"Both the films will be affected in a way. People will go and see both the films. But business will be affected," Kapadia said.