It’s no secret that we’re huge fans of Jon Favreau’s Chef around these parts, which means we’re not at all surprised that chef movies are on the rise - though maybe from places we didn’t expect. Blockbuster filmmaker Ridley Scott has teamed up with his oft-collaborative actress Giannina Facio and Iranian screenwriter Colet Abedi (Fashion House) in optioning The Devil in the Kitchen, the excellent memoir from the original culinary genius asshole Marco Pierre White.
If you’ve read The Devil in the Kitchen, or if you keep up with world-renowned chefs in general, you’re aware of Marco Pierre White. In 1994, he became (at 33) the then-youngest chef to earn 3 Michelin stars, arguably the highest honor in the land. This was done by dedicating a large portion of his life to the kitchen, where he often turned boys into men in a sense, while holding nothing back either with fellow chefs or with his customers. (He was notorious for handling naysaying patrons with poetic justice.) And then, in 1999, the chain-smoking culinary maestro had enough of the growing industry of chefs and he retired, handing back all three Michelin stars.
White’s most famous protégé is Gordon Ramsay, the expletive-spewing center of a celebrity chef enterprise, with MasterChef and Hell’s Kitchen turning him into an American household name. So it’ll be interesting to see if he’s somehow included in the planned feature. As well, White’s personal life has been something of a roller coaster, with multiple wives and accusations of infidelity that led to some public troubles with then-wife Matilde Conejero.
It is going to take one of the most charismatic actors around to pull off White’s unrestrained audacity and his beyond-superb skills in a kitchen. You know how movies often have to fake it when actors are playing the piano? That’s what’ll have to happen at any point when White is shown using his knife. Part of me wants this movie to turn into a 1980s action pic, with White julienning terrorists’ necks as they come to steal his time machine oven. Or something. (My version of this script isn’t finished.)
One of Bradley Cooper’s roles on his rise to stardom was as similarly outspoken chef Anthony Bordain on Fox’s short-lived Kitchen Confidential. He’s not the guy for this, but he was good.
Of course, Deadline doesn’t really have much to say beyond this, as no specific plans have been made going forward. Foodie entertainment is ever-growing, with shows like Top Chef just as popular now in later seasons as they ever were. And even beyond his upcoming Biblical epic Exodus: Gods and Kings, Ridley Scott has a lot of big projects on his plate – plate! – so here’s hoping he and his fellow producers pull in a smart director quickly, before this spins its wheels for too long.