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Outside of summer tentpole movies, it isn't always easy to predict which films will have a broad international appeal. Will it be the zany road trip comedy? The ensemble family drama? The foreign vampire flick? What about an adaptation of a well-received multi-cultural novel that centers on the culinary world?
Director Lasse Hallstrom (The Cider House Rules) has stepped into the kitchen to adapt Richard C. Morais’ 2010 novel The Hundred Foot Journey for DreamWorks and its India-based financing partner Reliance, according to Deadline. The film has a few big names behind it, with Steven Spielberg, Juliet Blake and Oprah Winfrey on board as producers. The screenplay was written by Steven Knight, who was nominated for an Oscar for his Dirty Pretty Things script. Deadline’s sources say Helen Mirren may be offered the lead female role, but DreamWorks isn’t making anything official just yet.
Should she join the film, Mirren would play Madame Mallory, the owner of a three-Michelin-star restaurant in France. The Mumbai-born Hassan Haji and his family movie from India to France and open up a town-awakening Indian restaurant just 100 feet from Mallory’s restaurant. A culinary war rages on, but Mallory relents and mentors Haji on his culinary trek, taking him to Paris.
The Swedish-born Hallstrom last directed Safe Haven, his second Nicholas Sparks adaptation, and his broad international appeal is an excellent fit. He also directed Chocolat and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.
Shooting on The Hundred-Foot Journey is set to begin this fall.