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Jon Favreau is going back to his indie roots.
The filmmaker, who broke through with his 1996 comedy Swingers and then became a tentpole filmmaker with the Iron Man movies, is putting together the pieces for Chef, a character study he wrote and will direct and star in.
Modern Family star Sofia Vergara is attached to join Favreau onscreen in the movie, while Boardwalk Empire actor Bobby Cannavale is in negotiations to also board the project, according to sources. John Leguizamo is also circling a role.
Favreau is producing the movie with Scott Steindorff (Jane Got a Gun) and Karen Gilchrist, a former assistant to Favreau who was a co-producer on his Cowboys & Aliens.
The story is described as a slice-of-life tale centering on a chef and the people who flit in and out of his life.
Favreau is playing the chef, while Vergara would play his ex-wife. Cannavale would play a sous-chef.
A June start date is being eyed.
Chef is a 180-degree turn for Favreau, who wrote (and co-produced) Swingers as a way for him and his buddies to get some acting work. The movie became a sensation and part of the wild indie tide of the mid-1990s, and while it achieved its goal (he landed a stint on Friends), the man had more ambitions that just acting.
He made his directing debut with the 2001 indie crime movie Made and spent the 2000s moving up the Hollywood ladder. Elf was a massive hit (and now a Christmas season perennial), Zathura showed his love for practical effects, then came the giant success of Iron Man movies, the big paydays and the rock star status at Comic-Con.
Cowboys & Aliens was considered a disappointment, but he bounced back by directing the pilot for Revolution, which is NBC’s only show connecting with audiences in its freshman season.
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