Lakeith Stanfield co-stars in two of this fall’s coolest movies — Rian Johnson‘s whodunit Knives Out and the Safdie brothers’ crime drama Uncut Gems — and while he may not be the lead in either one, he certainly proved himself as a lead over the last two years thanks to his versatile turns in the acclaimed indies Sorry to Bother You and Crown Heights. Now, he’s taking the next step in his career, as he has signed on to star in and executive produce a new A24 movie titled Notes From a Young Black Chef.
Based on the memoir by American-Nigerian chef Kwame Onwuachi, the film will follow Onwuachi’s unprecedented journey from growing up in the Bronx to opening a fine-dining restaurant in Washington D.C. at the age of 26 and appearing on Top Chef. As legend has it, Onwuachi sold candy on the subway in order to finance his first catering business.
Randy McKinnon (Chambers) will adapt the memoir for the screen, and Knopf recently acquired the publishing rights to the book, which Onwuachi co-wrote with Joshua David Stein. Stephen “Dr” Love (The Land) will produce, while Stanfield will executive produce along with his longtime collaborator Colin Stark.
What’s even more interesting about this project is that there’s no director attached yet, and A24 is a filmmaker-driven company. They don’t have a lot of ODAs — industry parlance for Open Directing Assignment. What I’m saying is, the studio must really believe in this story, and Stanfield’s ability to draw an arthouse crowd, in order to move forward sans filmmaker, though it certainly sounds like a great job for some indie filmmaker.
Best known for playing Darius on FX’s Atlanta, as well as his supporting role in Jordan Peele’s Get Out, Stanfield is one of Hollywood’s hottest young talents. He’s coming off rave reviews for his turn in Boots Riley‘s directorial debut Sorry to Bother You, which struck a chord with audiences and saw a number of people dress up as his telemarketer character this past Halloween, and he also recently starred opposite Gina Rodriguez in Netflix’s rom-com Someone Great. In addition to Knives Out and Uncut Gems, Stanfield will soon be seen opposite Issa Rae in Stella Meghie‘s romantic drama The Photograph. He’s represented by CAA and Stark Management, and Variety broke the news of his casting.