With the glut of projects being hawked at the American Film Market, it’s not a surprise that sometimes little things, like details, are left on the side of the road. So this morning when it was reported that The Weinstein Company had the sales rights to “Eastern Promises” writer Steven Knight‘s “Chef” (or “Untitled Chef Project” depending on who you ask), without much else, we figured it was par for the course. But thanks to a heads up from an eagle-eyed reader (thanks jtm!), there is much more than meets the eye on this.
Buried in a report from Vulture over a week ago, they reveal that Bradley Cooper is in talks to reunite with his “The Place Beyond The Pines” director Derek Cianfrance for the project. But wait, there’s more. For you Fincher heads, this is the same project he tried to get going years ago with Keanu Reeves in the lead (yes, seriously), but it never got going and a couple of years ago, the director said it was dead and he had moved on.
“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,” Fincher said about the film in 2008. However, the film isn’t exactly a sex comedy per se. ScriptShadow note that it’s actually rife with sexual tension for much of its running time, while the actual plot focuses on a disgraced chef who, thanks to booze and drugs, loses his Michelin two star rated restaurant in Paris, but brings the gang back together, so to speak, in London to chase an elusive three star rating.
Of course, this world is no stranger to Cooper, who played Jack Bourdain on the shortlived TV series “Kitchen Confidential” (which was also at one time another Fincher food film project called “Seared,” that he wanted to do with Brad Pitt). All of this to say — yes, we really hope it happens. Cianfrance draws a great performance out of Cooper in ‘Pines,’ and as folks will see in “Silver Linings Playbook” he can be on the edge to great comedic effect as well. That said, at TIFF Cianfrance told us his next effort was the HBO project “Muscle” so this doesn’t sound like an immediate project. But let’s hope these talks solidify into something much more real.