Derek Cianfrance to helm; Steven Knight to pen script
PARIS — Bradley Cooper, whose perf in “Silver Linings Playbook” has earned him an Oscar nom, and Omar Sy, the Gallic breakthrough star of “The Intouchables,” are in discussions to star in The Weinstein Company’s culinary comedy “Chef” (working title).Pic would be Sy’s first role in an English-language film. The project — currently in development — was unveiled at the American Film Market by TWC, which has international distribution rights, produces and distribs in the U.S. Derek Cianfrance, who directed Cooper in “The Place Beyond the Pines,” is set to helm, and “Eastern Promises” scribe Steven Knight will pen the screenplay. Cooper would star as a disgraced chef who, after losing his Michelin-rated restaurant in Paris, brings his crew back together in an attempt to create the best restaurant in London. He previously starred as a chef making a career comeback in Fox sitcom, “Kitchen Confidential.” Cooper, who is in France to promote “Silver Linings Playbook,” revealed the possibility of co-starring with Sy in “Chef” in an interview with local radio station, RTL. “We’ve been talking about this project. I want to do it. It’s a beautiful story. And I love cooking,” Cooper told RTL in fluent French. Cooper suggested that if he were to star in the film it wouldn’t lense in the coming months. “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 for Roland Garros,” the French Open tennis tournament set in late May. Sy, who moved to Los Angeles last year, is attached to star in “Chocolat,” a French-language biopic about Rafael Padilla, a former slave born in Cuba who became the first black artist in France and died in 1917, age 48. It will lense in spring 2014. The Golden Globe-nommed “The Intouchables,” which TWC released in the U.S., was a worldwide B.O. phenom. Cooper and Sy are both repped by CAA. Ascot Elite Entertainment Group acquired “Chef” rolling off the AFM and will distribute in Switzerland. Dave McNary contributed to this report.