THE COMPANY MEN Director John Wells Looking to Helm Bradley Cooper in CHEF

     May 2, 2013


It’s quite clear that Bradley Cooper is a very popular guy.  Coming off a Best Actor nomination for his work in last year’s Silver Linings Playbook, the actor has been courted for a number of projects.  He’s currently filming another movie with SLP director David O. Russell called American Hustle, he’ll star in Cameron Crowe’s next film, and he recently flirted with filling a vacated role in the troubled Western Jane Got a Gun before dropping out due to scheduling conflicts.  Now Cooper has added another project to his slate, as the long-gestating drama Chef has finally landed a director by way of ER veteran and The Company Men helmer John Wells.  Hit the jump for more, including how Cooper’s incredibly busy schedule will play out over the next year.

bradley-cooper-chefCooper has been developing Chef as a starring vehicle for some time, and the film will see the actor playing a Paris chef who, after ruining his status as an up-and-coming chef due to substance abuse issues, attempts to sober up and build a restaurant that can attain three Michelin stars.  Cooper’s Place Beyond the Pines director Derek Cianfrance previously eyed the director’s chair on Chef but ultimately passed, and now Deadline reports that Cooper has chosen John Wells to take the helm.

Wells is a television veteran who ran ER throughout its run and took over The West Wing after Aaron Sorkin left.  He made his feature directing debut with the 2010 drama The Company Men, but he most recently directed a star-studded adaptation of the play August: Osage County, which is apparently what got him the Chef gig.  The Meryl Streep-fronted Osage County doesn’t open until later this year, but Cooper apparently got an early look at the pic and was impressed with Wells’ work, offering him the Chef job.  A deal is now being made for Wells to come aboard the Weinstein Company-produced film.

This is the second long-in-the-works Cooper project to land a director today, as the actor’s passion project American Sniper just became Steven Spielberg’s next directorial effort.  Cooper’s busy schedule should play out as follows: the actor will finish up filming American Hustle, then he’ll move on to the untitled Cameron Crowe film in the fall, then he’ll shoot American Sniper in early 2014, and then he’ll shoot Chef.  He’s a busy guy, but that’s a very, very solid lineup of films.


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