Mumbai: In a major move that is set to put the Indian movie business on the world content map, Abundantia Entertainment, Eros International and Alumbra Entertainment announced that they would produce the Hindi remake of the high-profile Hollywood hit, ‘Chef’. The producers also confirmed getting leading man, Saif Ali Khan, to star in the iconic role.
‘Chef’, is a 2014 breakthrough hit film that was written, produced and directed by Jon Favreau who also featured in the titular role essaying Chef Casper. The multi-talented Favreau shot to fame with the 1996-film, Swingers and since then has had a long and distinguished career in Hollywood. Amongst his vast of range of films, Jon has directed Iron Man, Iron Man 2 and Elf among others and has been the executive producer on Iron Man 3 and Marvel’s Avengers franchise.
The critically appreciated and commercially successful ‘Chef’, which boasts of a famous supporting cast with the likes of Robert Downey Jr., Sofía Vergara, John Leguizamo, Scarlett Johansson and Dustin Hoffman and amongst others, is the story of professional Chef, Carl Casper, (played by Favreau himself). Carl, quits his job at a popular Los Angeles restaurant after refusing to compromise his creative integrity to its controlling owner. As he tries to figure out his next move, he finds himself in his hometown, Miami, where he teams up with his ex-wife, friend and son to launch a food truck. Taking to the road, Chef Carl goes back to his roots to reignite his passion for the kitchen and his zest for life and love. What follows is an endearing journey of relationships, self-discovery and success.
Earlier this year, Abundantia Entertainment, founded by Vikram Malhotra (formerly COO – Viacom18 Motion Pictures) acquired the remake rights from Favreau’s company, Fairview Entertainment and went on to partner with Eros International, India’s leading film studio and Alumbra Entertainment.. The Hindi version will be distributed and released by Eros worldwide.
Speaking on his passion project going global, Jon Favreau said, “I’m delighted to see ‘Chef’ get an Indian remake. I’m excited to see how this personal film translates to the Indian culture. The themes of food, music and family should resonate well.”
Terming ‘Chef’ as one of the most endearing and inspiring films of recent times, Vikram Malhotra, Founder & CEO of Abundantia, said, “Ever since I first saw ‘Chef’ I knew that this film had to be made in India. Charming relationships, a feel-good story and a unique journey of self-discovery make ‘Chef’ the ideal film to bring alive in an Indian context. Add to that the blazing spirit of entrepreneurship and the rapidly evolving food scene in India and the context for a Hindi remake is brilliantly set. We are proud and honored that an icon of Hollywood like Jon Favreau has chosen us to take forward his passion-project in another part of the world. I am also delighted that one of the finest actors in our country, Saif Ali Khan, will helm the title role in the Hindi version”.
Partnering on the project, Sunil Lulla, Managing Director, Eros International Media Ltd added, “Eros has been at the forefront of breaking content barriers and taking Indian movies worldwide. Be it our global blockbusters like English Vinglish, Tanu Weds Manu Returns, Bajrangi Bhaijaan or our upcoming line-up like Bajirao Mastani, we are keenly focused in making content speak a universal language. We are delighted to bring a special film like ‘Chef’ to the Indian audience in their own language and look forward to working closely to make ‘Chef’ connect to millions of movie-goers in the Hindi language.
The work on the Hindi remake has begun and a script that will adapt ‘Chef’s’ story to the Indian palate, keeping the flavor of the film intact, is already underway.
Vikram Malhotra and Ridhima Lulla of Eros International made the formal announcement with Jon Favreau in Los Angeles on 26th October.