Ben Stiller in Early Talks for Lead Role in Rise of Chippendales Drama
Just last week we learned that Magic Mike XXL would be shooting this fall with the original film's first assistant director stepping up to to sit in the director's chair for the sequel starring Channing Tatum. Now another male stripper drama is in the works as Deadline reports Ben Stiller is in talks to lead I Am Chippendales, a feature film from "True Blood" creator Alan Ball about the dawn of the famous male stripping troupe. The Weinstein Company seems to be the likely studio home for the film adapting Rodney Sheldon's book of the same name about immigrant Steve Banerjee's rise to nightclub fame and fortune.
Banerjee was an immigrant who started small by pumping gas in Culver City, California but struck gold by kicking off the male stripper sensation in the 1980s when women's lib was all the rage. But after finding success, Banerjee became consumed by his lavish lifestyle and obsessed with taking out the competition. His continued riches didn't stop him from becoming more and more paranoid, going so far as to hire a hitman to kill a New York choreographer hired to help spruce up the male stripper's dance routine after negotiations went down in flames.
However, Stiller won't be playing Banerjee, and will be playing the choreographer in question. The project has been in development since last year, with Ball lined up to write, direct and produce along with David Permut (Youth in Revolt). However, it's not clear how soon the project will get off the ground with Night at the Museum 3 occupying his time now. It could turn out to be his next film if Weinstein gets the project off the ground quickly, but movies take time to come together. The question is who will play the destructive and paranoid Steve Banerjee? He's a Indian American fellow, so Naveen Andrews and Dev Patel come to mind, but this could also be a great breakthrough role for Aasif Mandvi. Any other suggestions?