Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra
Priyanka Chopra has replaced Aishwarya Rai BachchanReuters/Varinder Chawla

Priyanka Chopra seems to have replaced Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as one of the ace directors of Bollywood Sanjay Leela Bhansali's favourite actress.

Bhansali, who at one time signed only Aishwarya as his lead actress, has now roped in Priyanka in his upcoming untitled film. This will be Bhansali's and Priyanka's fourth film in a row.

The "Hum Dil Chuke Sanam" director and Priyanka's friendship started when she accepted an item number in his film "Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-leela", which was first offered to the former Miss World Aishwarya.

After that Bhansali produced Priyanka starrer "Mary Kom" and also took care of the film's editing part. And when Bhansali offered her a role in "Bajirao Mastani", she immediately accepted it, even though it is not the part of a lead actress. 

Now Bhansali has signed Piggy Chops for his untitled film.

"Priyanka has just started shooting for Bajirao Mastani and on one of the days, Bhansali discussed quite a few things with her, including the response to Mary Kom and her role as Kashibai in his current film. He also briefed her about another film that he is planning, which is going to be an intense love story. Priyanka liked the idea and has agreed to be part of the film. However, rest of the cast is yet to be finalised," a source told Mid-Day.

According to reports, the "Devdas" director will start the pre-production work next year after completing the shoot of "Bajirao Mastani" starring Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh.

"It is too early to talk about it. He has liked Priyanka's work in their past two films and has offered her his next," Bhansali's spokesperson told Mid-Day.

Initially, it was reported that Deepika has replaced Aishwarya as Bhansali's favourite actress after she was offered two films. But now it looks like, Priyanka is Bhansali's latest muse.