Dev Patel in Talks to Join Ben Stiller in Chippendales Murder Movie

Dev Patel
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Dev Patel is in talks to join Ben Stiller in the long-in-development movie project “Chippendales,” and Bold Films has come on the finance.

The true crime saga, based on Rodney Sheldon’s manuscript, surrounds the founding and expansion of the Chippendales nightclub and male strip show during the 1980s by Paul Snider and immigrant Somen Banerjee — who eventually pleaded guilty to attempted arson, racketeering and murder for hire, and was found dead in his jail cell in 1994.

Patel is in talks to play Banerjee while Stiller has been attached since 2014 to portray Nick De Noia, who became Bannerjee’s partner and was murdered in 1987. Snider killed himself and Playboy Playmate Dorothy Stratten — who had designed the Chippendale collars and cuffs — in 1980.

Producers are seeking a director with “Bubbles” writer Isaac Adamson having written the latest version of the script. “Chippendales” will be produced by Permut Presentations’ David Permut, Bold’s Michel Litvak and Gary Michael Walters, and Red Hour’s Stiller and Nicky Weinstock. Lisa Zambri will be an exec producer along with Peter Saphier and Sheldon. Sentinel Pictures is also involved in a producing capacity.

Permut, who received a best picture Academy Award nomination this year for “Hacksaw Ridge” after 16 years in development, began work on “Chippendales” two decades ago. Barry Sonnenfeld was attached as a director in the early stages with Tony Scott and David Michod on board at various points.

“I see this project as bringing back the dark side of the excesses of the 1980s with elements of ‘Boogie Nights,’ ‘American Hustle’ and ‘Scarface,'” Permut told Variety.

Patel received a best actor Academy Award nomination this year for “Lion.” Stiller will be seen next in Noah Baumbach’s “The Meyerowitz Stories” and “Brad’s Status,” which Annapurna is releasing for Amazon and SKE on Sept. 15.

Bold Films has provided financing for “Whiplash,” “Nightcrawler” and the upcoming “Shot Caller.”

Patel is repped by Curtis Brown, WME and Magnolia. Stiller is repped by WME and Adamson is repped by CAA and Lee Stobby Entertainment. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

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  1. Robin says:

    The story was so much sadder than all this bs. Scarface? Jesus! I was there and I spoke to Ben Stiller about it. I think he will be amazing as he looks like Nick and has the sympathetic nature and gravitas and balls to do it. I was happy when I heard about that a few years ago when Alan Ball was attached. The guy who wrote the book knew one side of Nick. He had another side and there was another key person in this story that nobody gives a shit about. It’s Will Mott, Nick’s secret lover who was my business partner and who the day of the murder faced the hitman who asked him “Are you Nick?” and said “No”, before the guy went into the office and blew Nick’s head off. I was questioned and fingerprinted and released bc at the last minute I went to a meeting in Will’s place. I would have been the one in the office. I wish I had been, frankly, I have fantasies of stopping it, of being able to handle it better than Will was able to. After the murder I had to go back to the office to sit and screen our answering machine messages.I pulled my desk by the door away from where Nick’s office was covered in blood. There were stains on the rug all over and police tape was draped across the entry door to our shared office space sloppily. Will described everything to me, the geyser of blood, trying to cradle Nick’s head in his arms. He disassociated after that and forgot everything he told me. I was too scared to go in to the office after that. The door was cracked open when I had first arrived and saw the detectives waiting for the coroner (apparently they don’t always come right away and somebody has to wait around for the collection). The thought of Nick’s body inside and the bloody desk kept me from going further even though a morbid curiosity or need for confirmation of the unthinkable pulled at me.

    Will retreated to his apartment after a now well known actor brought in his wife’s psychic who declared the office haunted by an angry Nick. Will read true crime novels and got high and died on the street as I heard it. I went to stay with a friend in North Carolina and when I returned I hid out at my boyfriend’s apt. in Jersey City and took odd jobs as a temp before leaving the business altogether. I rarely went out. I was scared. People were treating me as if I’d had something exciting happen in my life. The case went nowhere. I hid and married my boyfriend and changed my last name to his so nobody would recognize it. If you google Will Mott nothing comes up. If anyone knows him please let me know by replying. Nick loved him. He loved Nick. I never saw Nick say or do anything demeaning or hurtful to Will or myself. I saw a bit of a Howard Stern aspect to him with a split persona. Like Stern he had a really sweet personality, but he knew show business. Benerjee was creepy and angry and Nick had screwed him and he wanted revenge. The day Banerjee came in the office to confront Nick I remember him walking by my desk with two other men, one of which I now know was Paul Snyder. They’d had one bad meeting already and this one was arranged on ‘neutral territory’ but I remember Nick was shaken afterwards as his plan to charm and deflect Benerjee had clearly failed and he left angrier than when he had arrived. There is an unseemly side to this of course and the man who wrote the book is telling the truth about nightclub Nick and even about his business behavior. But I wish someone would have the courtesy to at least look into who Will Mott was. I appreciated Mr. Stiller contacting me. He was curious and respectful of Nick’s life. I know Nick pitted dancers against one another and demeaned them (‘Pirate!’), but I wish someone would see the true depth of desperation show business on all levels undoes people the same way family wills and inheritances do. All the cops did was follow up on a gay love triangle, that’s why it took so long when all they had to do was question us thoroughly and follow the money. I remember riding in the cop car to the station and hearing someone from our building say “I’m not surprised Nick De Noia got shot. I was. Shouldn’t we all be? If everyone in showbiz got shot for being an asshole Variety would go out of business. It haunts me to this day. I know my opinion doesn’t matter and that I am just another silent repercussion of a single bullet, and I ADORE Dev Patel, but this makes me worry. He’s so young and Benerjee was desperate bc he knew, just like Nick, that this was his last chance. They were like Dick and Perry in “In Cold Blood’, in that if they never crossed paths nobody would have died. We may have lost out on Chippendales, but I am still willing to make the trade. Sorry. I thought if anybody killed him it would have been the mob in Florida as he used to love yelling at club owners he was negotiating franchising rights with (behind Benerjee’s back bc they liked him even less than Nick”. Because Nick was a charismatic asshole. But somebody loved him and that somebody was Will Mott.

  2. Weary says:

    How will he have time with all the hotels he owns?

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