Cannes: Rival 'Chef' Projects Pit Bradley Cooper Against Jon Favreau
Controversy is simmering on the Croisette over two film projects aiming to wet the appetite of buyers with big-name casts and the same title.
On Tuesday, Sony sent a cease-and-desist letter to Aldamisa, which is shopping Chef, directed by and starring Jon Favreau in an attempt to get Aldamisa to change the title.
The legal threat comes from a rival film with the same title that was previously handled by Sony, but was sold by the Weinstein Co. at recent markets and is being pitched in Cannes. That Chef stars Bradley Cooper whose career has been on the upswing since his Oscar-nominated performance in Silver Linings Playbook.
The project, listed in a Weinstein brochure as Untitled Chef Project, stars Cooper as a bad-boy rock star chef, who is determined to open a Paris restaurant and get his third Michelin star. But he must deal with a dark past, including a former drug dealer who is looking for payback.
The movie is written by Steven Knight (Eastern Promises). It follows a chef who, after losing his job, decides to open a food truck business. The producers are Knight, Erwin Stoff, Michael Shamberg (Garden State, Erin Brokovich) and Stacey Sher (Django Unchained, Erin Brokovich).
News of the cease-and-desist letter came after Aldamisa added extra spice to its package ahead of the start of Cannes, bringing in Scarlett Johansson to star opposite her Iron Man 2 director Favreau, who also is writing the project. Other stars set for the feature include Robert Downey Jr., Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo and Bobby Cannavale.
Aldamisa, which is shopping the comedy at the Cannes Film Market that officially got underway Thursday, could not immediately be reached for comment. Aldamisa is financing along with Kilburn Media and Mark Manuel. Production is set to begin July 8 in Los Angeles. CAA packaged the deal and will handle U.S. distribution rights.
Jere Hausfater and Philip Elway negotiated the deal on behalf of Aldamisa.