It's always been a privilege for Bollywood actors to be known as Sanjay Leela Bhansali's favourite. As it is not only a testimony to an actor's grip over their acting abilities but also the faith the ace director has in them.

From Salman Khan, Aishwarya Rai to Ranveer Singh; several celebs have been Bhansali's muse over the years. In the last few years, it was Deepika Padukone who had been Bhansali's obvious pick. But now, things seem to have changed.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali may replace Deepika Padukone with Alia Bhatt for his next
Sanjay Leela Bhansali may replace Deepika Padukone with Alia Bhatt for his nextAndreas Rentz/Getty Images/Instagram/Varinder Chawla

Deepika Padukone's association with Sanjay Leela Bhansali began when the two worked together in Ram Leela. It was also the time Bhansali was bowled over by Ranveer Singh's craft.

No wonder he decided to re-cast them in Bajirao Mastani and again in Padmaavat. Now whether it was due to the controversies the lead pair has been embroiled in or just a change-of-heart, but Sanjay Leela Bhansali seems to have found his latest muse in Alia Bhatt.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali decides to go ahead with Inshallah with Alia Bhatt? 

Deepika Padukone and Alia Bhatt
Deepika Padukone and Alia Bhatt@deepikapadukone, @aliabhatt on Instagram

It all began when Alia Bhatt was roped in for Bhansali's 'Inshallah'. The film garnered tremendous buzz owing to the plot that involved a love story between Salman Khan and Alia. However, due to reasons unknown, Salman backed off and the project fell flat. But, Bhansali had already seen the spark in Alia. He roped her to play the solo female lead in Gangubai Kathiawadi. A role for which many big names like Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra and few others were floating around.

What's more? There have been reports of Sanjay Leela Bhansali deciding to go ahead with Inshallah with Alia Bhatt again. Shah Rukh Khan is said to be in talks with Bhansali to replace Salman Khan. When Inshallah had been shelved, an upset Alia Bhatt had said, "I was very excited to work with Sanjay Leela Bhansali, of course very excited to work with Salman as well. I believe that sometimes things just happen and it's not in your control. That way there's a saying that if you want to make God laugh then tell him about your plans because plans never really go as per plan. But I can give it to you in writing that I am going to work with Sanjay Leela Bhansali very soon."

Going by the development, Alia Bhatt seems to have taken Deepika Padukone's spot in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's films.