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.