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Andrea Berloff, who earned an Oscar nomination for co-writing Straight Outta Compton, will make her directorial debut with The Kitchen, New Line’s female-driven mob drama.
Berloff was already writing the script for Kitchen, impressing execs with her perspective. When it came time to find a director, New Line didn’t look too far, considering her a fitting choice for an edgy and subversive take on a crime movie staple.
Kitchen is an Irish mafia story set in Hell’s Kitchen, New York, in the 1970s. When the FBI does a sweep of the mob, several men are arrested. Their wives end up taking over … and running the business much more viciously than the men ever did.
The project, developed in-house at New Line, adapts the comic book series by Ollie Masters and Ming Doyle from DC Entertainment’s Vertigo imprint.
With Berloff behind the camera and three female leads in front, the project promises to be another step toward gender equality for Hollywood, this time in a project that blends subverting gender tropes with commercial appeal.
Making her directorial debut at New Line is a closing of a circle of sorts for Berloff. Early in her entertainment career she worked as an assistant to company co-founders Bob and Eva Shaye. New Line later hired her to pen Compton when the film was in development at the studio. (It was later made by Universal, which released it in 2015.)
“I am beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to direct a film that is fiercely, unapologetically female-driven,” said Berloff. “Having started my career as an assistant to Eva and Bob Shaye, embarking on this journey with New Line is truly a surreal dream.”
Hiring Berloff also continues the company tradition of taking chances on first-time feature directors. Richie Keen is debuting with Fist Fight, the Ice Cube-Charlie Day comedy that opens Friday. Other recent names include David F. Sandberg with Lights Out, Seth Gordon with Four Christmases, and Thea Sharrock with Me Before You.
Berloff, who also wrote Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center and is working on a Conan the Barbarian project, is repped by CAA and Management 360.
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