Omar Sy starred in the French hit The Intouchables. Bradley Cooper segued from The Hangover to Silver Linings Playbook and The Place Beyond the Pines. And thanks to a fortuitous set of connections, the two will star in Chef. The Weinstein Co., which released both The Intouchables and Silver Linings Playbook, has international distribution rights to the comedy, which centers on Cooper as the disgraced chef of a Michelin-starred restaurant in France. He absconds to London, where he opens up a new restaurant with the help of Sy. Cooper has not only played a chef before, in the sitcom "Kitchen Confidential," he speaks fluent French. That may come into play if there is a smattering of French dialogue (and I bet Cooper dubs himself), but it also may help him and Sy strike up conversations on the set.
Yet another connection ties the project together. Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine), who directed Cooper in The Place Beyond the Pines, will helm. Cianfrance has mainly focused on dramas, so the move to comedy is a surprising one. My bet is that this is the kind of movie where plot comes before comedy, my favorite kind. Right now, Cooper's the one with the busiest schedule, though Cianfrance and Sy also have projects on the table. Steven Knight (Eastern Promises) a screenwriter whose works are often set in London or involve immigration, will pen the tale--considerably lighter than his usual fare. With no set production start date, it might be a while before Chef takes off, but it has all the ingredients needed to cook up another specialty hit from the Weinsteins.