The latest Super Mega Big Star to sign on to Jon Favreau’s creatively titled Chef is one Dustin Hoffman, fresh off his victory lap around the feminist blogosphere for realizing sexism exists. Chef is shaping up to be quite the
movie major motion picture event, with a completely stacked cast and a plot that’s relatively on the pulse (by big-budget Hollywood standards, that is).
The food world is justifiably pretty excited for its moment in the spotlight, so we’re taking the opportunity to round up everything we know so far about Favreau’s epic story of love, loss, and food trucks. Here’s the rundown on everything you need to know about Chef, from legal troubles to release date to the actual chefs involved:
- It’s got an impressive roster. Jon Favreau is starring (and directing, and writing), but he’s brought in a whole lot of help. As of this moment, costars include Hoffman, Bobby Cannavale, John Leguizamo, Scarlett Johansson, Sofia Vergara, and Favreau’s Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr. (Favreau directed the first two Iron Man movies and had a bit part in all three as Tony Stark’s bodyguard Happy.) ScarJo’s cool and all, but we just want to see Gyp Rosetti in a toque.
- Despite all the hype, it’s still an indie flick. Variety describes the movie as a “smaller scale” project for Favreau, although we suppose literally anything is smaller scale than Cowboys and Aliens and Iron Man 2. Regardless, it’s being billed as a relatively toned-down picture, or as toned-down as something costarring Robert Downey Jr. and Dustin Hoffman can be.
- It’s not out for almost another year. Shooting started around Los Angeles in June, and the official release date is May 9th, 2014, just in time for Mother’s Day. The perfect way to spend your post-brunch food coma.
- Depending on some pesky legal stuff, it might not be called Chef at all. Turns out the Favreau film actually shares a tentative title with a similar Bradley Cooper film produced by the Weinstein Company. Sony apparently really wants that Chef title, so it served Favreau’s backers with a cease and desist letter. Seems a little heavy for the rights to a one-word movie title, but presumably something’s got to give.
- Favreau plays a down and out chef who tries to reboot his career with a food truck. Plot details—they’re important! Vergara will play Favreau’s ex-wife and Cannavale his sous chef. Favreau’s character is apparently “emotional,” and turns to the food truck business to “reclaim his artistic promise” after losing his job. No word yet on Downey, Johansson, or Hoffman’s roles, so we’ll go ahead and typecast them as quirky best friend, love interest, and mentor figure.
- Roy Choi’s been helping out with research. Favreau’s been shadowing the Kogi chef, presumably the best guy in the industry if you want to learn the ins and outs of food trucks, throughout his mini-empire to get some hands-on experience. Favreau even got to help out with Choi’s David Chang collaboration dinner at the Hotel Bel-Air. Swanky.