Derek Cianfrance Not Directing 'Chef' with Bradley Cooper & Omar Sy
Another interesting project back from the dead today. Variety is reporting some casting and development news on a film called Chef, which if I recall, was originally connected to David Fincher back in 2008. It's a "sex comedy" screenplay written by Steven Knight. The project is being produced by IM Global and is now setup at The Weinstein Company, with Derek Cianfrance (of Blue Valentine, The Place Beyond the Pines) set to direct. Their news also reveals that Oscar nominated actor Bradley Cooper is now likely to star in this, along with French award-winning actor Omar Sy making his English language debut. Sounds great!
Omar Sy (seen right above) is an actor who most recently appeared in last year's highly acclaimed film The Intouchables from last year, as well as in Gondry's Mood Indigo, Micmacs and Samurai. Variety says that Sy and Bradley Cooper are "in discussions" to star in the film in the works at The Weinstein Company. Cooper recently denied involvement in the J.J. Abrams' Lance Armstrong project, but did tell French radio station RTL in perfect French: "We've been talking about this project. I want to do it. It's a beautiful story. And I love cooking." But of course, nothing happens in Hollywood until the cameras roll, as Cooper adds, "I'm going to make another film in March and after that I think I'm going to take a break and stay in Paris."
Steven Knight's Chef is, as explained by Variety, said to be about "a disgraced chef who, after losing his Michelin-rated restaurant in Paris, decides to bring his crew back together in an attempt to create the best restaurant ever in London." Our coverage from four years ago didn't include the name of the writer, but at the time Fincher was quoted as saying that Chef: "It's like a celibate sex comedy if that means anything. It's really about the creative process. It's truly an aromatic art-form, making food. I love that idea." We're not sure if it has been updated or revised since then, but we may finally get to see it made. At the hands of Derek Cianfrance, this sounds like it could be very interesting to see. We'll be watching this project closely.
Update: There's been a major development related to this project thanks to Premiere.fr via The Playlist. Director Derek Cianfrance gave an interview to Premiere.fr, and is quoted as saying in response to a question about Chef: "No, I will not direct this film. But I can say that Omar Sy has a lot of talent. I hope to one day have the opportunity to work with him... I read the script, and it's great, and Omar and Bradley are great. But it's not me who will make the film." So there you have it, Derek Cianfrance is not directing Chef, but it sounds like Cooper & Sy are still attached to star at least. We'll keep watching for more updates.