By Roshmila Bhattacharya, Mumbai Mirror | Mar 9, 2016, 12.47 AM IST
The actor is expected to take some serious culinary lessons before he steps into Jon Favreau's shoes in the Hindi remake of Chef, which rolls in September.
At the moment Saif Ali Khan in his Cary Grant avatar is in Arunachal Pradesh filming Vishal Bhardwaj's Casablancalike love story set against the Second World War. But come September, the actor will metamorphose into a chef. Despite the buzz that he has been replaced by Akshay Kumar who is flying high after the success of Airlift, in the Raja Krishna Menon-directed gastronomical comedy-drama (Chef), the film's spokesperson dismissed the rumours asserting that it would be Saif wielding the ladle in this official Hindi remake of the 2014 American film.
Chef revolves around a professional chef who after a public altercation with a food critic quits his job at a popular Los Angeles restaurant and returns to his home town, Miami, to fix up a food truck. On the culinary road to LA he reconnects with his estranged ex-wife and young son while selling Cubanos in cities along the way. The role was played to perfection by Jon Favreau who has also written, produced and directed the film. While the makers are tight-lipped about details, a source close to the development informed Mirror that they are in talks with Favreau who has Jungle Book coming up, to join hands with them as an international collaborator.
"Chef is Favreau's passion project. He wrote the food-centric script in two weeks and it is semiautobiographical, incorporating parts of his life into the character of Carl Casper. Like Carl, Favreau who helmed the big-budget Iron Man studio extravaganzas to go back to basics with the smallbudget Chef which he co-produced with restaurateur Roy Choi who created the Kogi Korean BBQ food truck. To play the part to perfection, he trained at a culinary school and worked in Choi's kitchen making Cuban sandwiches," points out the source. The source adds that there is a possibility that Saif who at the moment is far from a chef will take serious culinary training in fine dining and gourmet cooking for the role.
Apparently, even before the final handshake with Favreau in Los Angeles, Saif was the only Bollywood actor they had in mind to play the title role. "He embodies the character. He has an uber cool attitude that appeals to urban sensibilities and the requisite experience to pull off this multilayered role. He is a father himself and is at the right age to step into Favreau's shoes," reasons the source, saying the film will be shot over a span of three months across India and one major European city. "Right now they are getting together all the ingredients before they start the cooking."
The Hollywood film also featured Sofia Vergara, then 10-yearold Emjay Anthony, John Leguizamo and Bobby Cannavale. Robert Downey Jr. whom Favreau had directed in the Iron Man films, Scarlett Johansson and Dustin Hoffman added to the star power. Favreau admitted that the cast gave him "a tremendous amount of confidence". The casting for the Bollywood film is underway.
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