EXCLUSIVE: After helming August: Osage County for Harvey Weinstein, John Wells is getting ready to take on another big film for The Weinstein Company. He’s making a deal to direct Chef, the Steven Knight-scripted drama that Bradley Cooper will star in next year. 3 Arts’ Erwin Stoff is producing with Double Feature Films partners Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher. Timing on this picture got skewered with Steven Spielberg’s commitment last night to direct Cooper in American Sniper. Still open for debate is whether Cooper will have time to bring a revival of The Elephant Man to Broadway. The plan was for it to open in time for Tony Awards consideration for next year, but Cooper’s schedule suddenly got very crowded and it might have to be pushed until next fall.
In Chef, Cooper will play Paris chef Adam Jones, who blows his status as an up and coming chef when controlled substances lead to out of control behavior. Jones straightens out and returns to Paris sober, and becomes devoted to building a restaurant that can attain three Michelin stars, the mark of cuisine supremacy. Cooper, who made Silver Linings Playbook with Weinstein, got a peek at Wells’ August: Osage County, the play adaptation which has a cast that includes Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts. They were impressed enough to offer Wells the Chef job and the deal is being made.
When does Cooper fit in all these killer movies? Once he has finished the David O Russell-directed American Hustle, Cooper will do the untitled film with Cameron Crowe in the fall. Then he will star in American Sniper for Steven Spielberg in the first quarter of 2014. Then he will move on to Chef for The Weinstein Company. Wells and Cooper and Knight are repped by CAA.