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After reprising his role as Happy Hogan in Iron Man 3, Jon Favreau, who directed Iron Man 1& 2 for better and for worse, is pulling quadruple duty on his next feature, Chef. Favreau not only wrote and is directing the film, but also serves as its producer and star. The independently produced comedy that secured financing at Cannes is now in production in Los Angeles. And Favreau gave fans a look behind the scenes while announcing some exciting new cast members with the tweet below:
That's Emmy-winning character actor Bobby Cannavale, who had critics raving with his sidesplitting performances in a pair of Thomas McCarthy's indie dramedies Win Win and The Station Agent, and recently did a stint on Boardwalk Empire as the murderous Gyp Rosetti. While Favreau's caption says he's new to the cast, Cannavale was said to be attached along with Sofia Vergara and John Leguizamo back in May, when Robert Downey Jr. made headlines by signing on for a re-team with his Iron Man director. However, the appearance of screen legend Dustin Hoffman is a surprise! Though sadly this brief looping vid gives us no idea who he might play.
What we do know so far is that Favreau will front the film as the titular Los Angeles chef, an arrogant aspiring restaurateur who quits his job to open his own food cart in hopes of reclaiming his artistic promise. Judging from Cannavale's costume, he'll also be playing a chef, but sadly Favreau has so far kept quiet on what roles the rest of his cast will play. Still, it's intriguing to see Favreau back off of big budget action movies and returning to small indie comedy.
Memorably, Favreau first made his mark as the writer and co-star of the swing music-fueled comedy Swingers in 1996. The movie launched his co-star Vince Vaughn to comedy stardom, and led to Favreau making his directorial debut with Made in 2001. Bigger opportunities followed, and before long he had a string of hits with Elf and the first two installments of the Iron Man franchise. But with Iron Man 2 earning some critical scorn, and his follow-up Cowboys & Aliens flopping badly, Favreau's prospects took a turn. So, a return to his roots as a witty writer-director seems a smart move. Hopefully, it will also prove a return to form.
Another curious element of this casting announcement is the use of Vine. The video share app that allows users to create and upload looping videos of six seconds or less has gained popularity fast. And it's been a welcomed tool for certain celebs to boost their online profile. Perhaps none have done so as effectively as Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams, whose faux shocked response to the "Red Wedding" episode went viral and spurred a demand for more, more, more. She has kindly obliged with a growing string of silly, self-mocking vids. But will we see more filmmakers sharing updates on their project via Vine? It seems inevitable. Twitter has become a place for artists to communicate directly to their fans, and filmmakers like Darren Aronofsky, Sylvester Stallone, and Bryan Singer have been using it to share tantalizing teasers to great effect. The edition of short and easy to produce vids that could more easily go viral seems a no-brainer way to raise a movie's profile.
Chef is expected to hit theaters in 2014.