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Jon Favreau takes talents to Miami in 'Chef' trailer -- VIDEO

Judging by its trailer, Jon Favreau’s Chef will belong in the don’t-see-on-an-empty stomach genre, much like 2009′s Julie and Julia and 2011′s Jiro Dreams of Sushi


Casting Net: Ed Helms signs on for 'Epic Fail'; Plus, Jon Favreau, more

Hangover alum Ed Helms is attached to star in Epic Fail, an original comedy about an elite Special Forces team trying to save America. The logline reads that the group is “led by the only soldier more badass and more mustachioed than a Navy SEAL, The Walrus.” Helms co-developed the project with producer Nicky Weinstock. Black List scribes Mike Arnold and Chris Poole (The Grackle) are set to pen the script for Lionsgate. [Deadline] READ FULL STORY

SXSW: Fest opens with world premiere of Jon Favreau's 'Chef'

The SXSW Film Festival kicked off last night in Austin with the world premiere of Jon Favreau’s Chef, an easygoing charmer about a man rekindling his bonds with both his craft and young son. The movie, which Favreau wrote, directed, and stars in, marked what was clearly a personally reinvigorating return to his indie roots. Inspired by foodie gems like Eat, Drink, Man, Woman, Big Night, and Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential, Favreau has made a shaggy dog story about a creatively frustrated chef who opens a food truck after losing his restaurant job. He hits the road with his sous chef (John Leguizamo, at his grooviest) and his 11-year-old son (charming newcomer Emjay Anthony), making beautifully-filmed pit stops in foodie meccas New Orleans and Austin. (And did the Austin audience ever appreciate the hometown doting.) Sofia Vergara plays Favreau’s ambivalent ex, and there are cameos from friends-in-high-places Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, and Dustin Hoffman.

Favreau was joined on stage by Leguizamo, Anthony, and Oliver Platt (who plays a food blogger whose harsh review at the beginning of the story sends the chef into a tailspin) after the screening for a Q&A. When asked about the theatrical release of the film (it opens on May 9), Favreau sounded relaxed about its box office chances. “It’s going to be swimming in those same shark-infested waters as Iron Man did…and it’s not Iron Man.”

Jon Favreau's 'Chef' to open SXSW Film Festival

Jon Favreau’s Chef will be the opening-night world premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival on March 7, 2014. The film, directed by Favreau and co-starring Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., Dustin Hoffman, and Sofia Vergara, is the story of a chef (Favreau) who swaps a successful career in a popular L.A. restaurant for a job running a food-truck in Miami. “Jon Favreau’s wonderfully entertaining return to independent filmmaking works beautifully as our 2014 opening-night film, with his sharp and funny take on the world of food, artistry, and family in the age of social media,“ said Janet Pierson, head of SXSW Film.

The 21st SXSW Festival, which runs March 7-15, will also host the world premiere of Veronica Mars, the Kickstarter-backed adaptation of the cult TV series. Click below for additional highlights from the festival, which also includes Fox’s new Cosmos miniseries with Neil deGrasse Tyson. READ FULL STORY

'Alice in Wonderland 2' and 'The Jungle Book' snag release dates

Disney laid claim to a number of far off release dates for some of their biggest upcoming properties on Friday.

The live-action adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book will open on Oct. 9, 2015, while the Johnny Depp-fronted Alice in Wonderland 2 is set for a May 27, 2016 release.


Jon Favreau in talks to direct Disney's 'The Jungle Book'

Walt Disney Pictures has found its director for the upcoming live-action version of The Jungle Book.

EW has confirmed that Iron Man director Jon Favreau will helm the film based on the book by Rudyard Kipling, which tells the story of an orphan boy named Mowgli who is raised by wolves and lives in the jungle among the animals.  Favreau will join Justin Marks who has been tapped to adapt Kipling’s classic tale for the big screen. Deadline first reported the news.

Casting Net: Cate Blanchett to star in Mamet film; Plus Samuel L. Jackson mentors teens and Scarlett Johansson runs a restaurant

  • Cate Blanchett (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) is playing the lead role in Blackbird, a present-day take on the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Blanchett’s character, Janet, discovers that her grandfather – a Hollywood visual effects artist who also worked for the U.S. government – had been keeping secrets about the president’s death. Traveling to Los Angeles after his death, she embarks on a twisting, turning journey to discover the truth. David Mamet wrote the script for the thriller. [Variety Exclusive] READ FULL STORY

Casting Net: Robert Downey, Jr. re-teams with 'Iron Man' co-star; Plus, Kate Winslet, more

• If Jon Favreau’s Chef was ever in danger of receiving adequate financing, he can probably breathe easy now. Robert Downey Jr. has signed on to join the independent comedy. Downey Jr. and Favreau have worked together for years on the Iron Man franchise. Favreau plays the role of Happy Hogan, and also directed the first two films. In Chef, which Favreau wrote — and will direct and star in — a recently fired chef tries to regain control of his craft by opening a food truck. Modern Family’s Sofia Vergara is also set to star. [Deadline]

• Kate Winslet will star in the period film, The Dressmaker, about a woman who returns to the town that ostracized her as a child. After charming everyone with ideas of couture and women’s liberation, she begins to exact revenge. Based on Rosalie Ham’s novel, Jocelyn Moorhouse (How to Make an American Quilt) will direct the project. [Screen Daily]


Casting Net: Johnny Depp might go 'Into the Woods' with Meryl Streep, more

• Johnny Depp is in talks to join Disney’s film adaptation of Into the Woods, Stephen Sondheim’s 1986 musical that borrows characters from classic Grimm fairy tales while following a baker and his wife as they venture into the woods to find the witch who put a spell on them. Meryl Streep will reportedly play the evil witch, a character originated on Broadway by Bernadette Peters, and Depp would play the baker. Rob Marshall (Chicago) is set to direct the project, and held a script reading in October 2012 with Anna Kendrick reading the role of Cinderella, Patrick Wilson as her Prince, and Megan Hilty as Lucinda, among others. But don’t get too excited — participating in a script reading doesn’t necessarily mean any of them are up for the roles. [Variety]

• Jon Favreau (Iron Man) is going back to his indie roots. He’s currently in talks to secure the financing that would allow him to write, direct and star in Chef, a comedy about a chef in Los Angeles. Favreau became known for writing and starring in 1996′s Swingers, but in the 2000s he transitioned into directing (and sometimes acting in) big budget productions such as Elf, Iron Man and its sequel, and Cowboys & Aliens. [Variety]

Key and Peele favorite Keegan Michael Key might be joining Jake Johnson (New Girl) and Damon Wayans, Jr. (Happy Endings) in the comedy Let’s Be Cops. Luke Greenfield (The Girl Next Door), will direct the film, which he also wrote, about two guys who decide it’ll be fun to impersonate police officers. [The Wrap]

• Would you want to relive the worst day of your life? Well, for some reason the lead character in Unmasked does, and he joins a dangerous club in order to do so. That part has yet to be cast, but Christina Ricci (Speed Racer) is in talks to join the independent feature from first time writer Peter Scott Vicaire. It will be directed by Geoffrey Sax (White Noise). Ricci can be heard in the upcoming Smurfs 2 (out July 31) where she voices the part of Vexy. [THR]

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Robert Downey Jr. on 'Iron Man 2' flaws, China fizzle -- EXCLUSIVE interview (Part 4 of 5)


On the last day of postproduction work on Iron Man 2, I caught up with Jon Favreau over on the Fox lot. He was sick, haggard, weary, frustrated and emotionally singed. The movie was a grueling experience because the script was a work in progress (or perhaps a work in triage). Favreau told me he felt like El Cid that day, which has to be one the great quotes I’ve ever gotten from a filmmaker: “I feel like I’m finishing this one the way El Cid finished the war, strapped onto his horse by his men and sent into battle dead.”

Robert Downey Jr, who returns as the title star of Iron Man 3 this summer, says the experience of Iron Man 2 has echoed in the memory of Marvel Studios and he said this new installment won’t be making the same mistakes. This is Part 4 of our five-part interview with the movie star. Part 1 ran on Monday, Part 2 on Tuesday, and Part 3 on Wednesday. READ FULL STORY

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