He first spoke about it in 1999, after which the fallout between his lead pair - Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai – stalled work on the film. Bhansali then wanted to replace Ash with Kareena Kapoor but that didn’t happen either.

Instead, he went on to make Devdas and Black, following which there were rumours about him casting casting Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya as the lead pair.

Sources in the industry say that Sanjay Leela Bhansali has now signed Shah Rukh Khan for it. The historical drama, based on the life of Peshwa Bajirao and his ladylove Mastani, has seen several casting changes and has never really taken off.
A source from the industry tells HitList, "After his film Ram-Leela released in October 2013, Bhansali has now started work on his next production, Bajirao Mastani. He wants to begin shooting in April 2014, but the film’s scale is such that it needs extensive pre-production work."
There are also rumours that Bhansali is keen to cast Deepika Padukone opposite Shah Rukh in the film with Katrina Kaif playing Bajirao's wife Kashibai. “Bhansali has just worked with Deepika, so he might cast her again in this one. He is in talks with both Deepika and Katrina,” adds the source.

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Courtesy- Mid-day