Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who has directed epic tales such as 'Gangubai Kathiawadi', 'Padmaavat' along with others, says that making a historical Indian film is not a cakewalk. Padmavaat was based on Malik Muhammad Jayasi's 16th-century poem. It featured Deepika Padukone as Queen Padmavati, Shahid Kapoor as Rajput king Ratan Singh and Ranveer Singh as Alauddin Khilji. Aditi Rao Hydari, Jim Sarbh, Raza Murad, and Anupriya Goenka were also part of the cast. During the making of the film and up until its release, the Hindi feature faced several protests and also had to undergo a few changes before it hit theatres.
Speaking at a panel announcing his next project, the web series Heeramandi, Sanjay shared, "When you're making a historical in our country, you need to be careful. So yes, you need to get your facts right. And that is where my research ends because most of it is imagination, most of it is how I see the period. It's done but it's not done so detailed because I find research very boring. I, as a filmmaker, am not set out to make a documentary that I want it to be exact."
Sanjay was accompanied by Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos for the Heeramandi announcement. The filmmaker, who is making his digital debut with Heeramandi revealed that this was the biggest project he had worked on. He added, "It’s so huge in scale. I had to do something special... [Sarandos] had commissioned this to me and therefore we had to do something special to make him proud."
The filmmaker's next project will premiere on Netflix later this year. The eight-episode series features Sonakshi Sinha, Manisha Koirala, Richa Chadha, Aditi Rao Hydari, Sanjeeda Shaikh and Sharmin Segal. Set in Lahore, the series follows the inner lives of the courtesans of a bygone era.