Bradley Cooper is close to taking on a new character near to his heart—and stomach. The “Silver Linings Playbook” Oscar nominee, and professed cooking enthusiast, has signed on to play the lead in “Chef,” which will co-star Omar Sy of “The Intouchables” in his English-language debut. The Weinstein Company is backing.
“Chef” will see Cooper re-teaming with Derek Cianfrance, whose “The Place Beyond The Pines” is set to come out March 29th. Steven Knight, writer of “Eastern Promises” and “Dirty Pretty Things,” will write the script, a comedy in which the title character loses his Paris restaurant and reassembles his team to launch a new restaurant in London.
Cooper, who as well as being very popular in France is also fluent in the language, recently told French radio station RTL that “Chef” is “a beautiful story,” but that shooting won't start for a few months, as he has another film shooting in March, after which he has a brief vacation planned during which he plans to take in the French Open tennis tournament.
Co-star Omar Sy also has another project scheduled in the meantime. “Chocolat” -- no relation to Lasse Hallstrom's film of the same name -- will see Sy star as artist Rafael Padilla, a Cuban former slave who upon relocating to Paris became the first black artist of France's storied Belle Epoque. The period also saw Van Gogh's posthumous fame as well as the contemporary work of Gaugin, Matisse, Rousseau, Toulouse-Latrec and the young Picasso.
With Cooper and Sy both currently starring in successful, crowd-pleasing Weinstein company pictures, one imagines “Chef,” a comedy about food, will be another in that vein. With two charming leading men and the filmmaking talent behind the camera, “Chef” is a good bet on paper to be a commercial success or even an awards contender. Keep an eye—and appetite—out.