Casting is firming up for DreamWorks’ adaptation of the Richard C. Morais novel The Hundred-Foot Journey. The film centers on the rivalry between an Indian restaurant that is 100 feet away from a three-Michelin-star restaurant in France, with the eccentric French chef reluctantly forming a bond with the young Indian boy whose family owns the quaint Indian restaurant. When we first reported that Lasse Hallstrom (Chocolat) was going to direct, we learned that Helen Mirren was circling the role of the French chef Madame Mallory. Now Variety confirms that Mirren has indeed signed on to star in the pic, with Manish Dayal (90210, Switched at Birth) set to play the Indian boy.
Hallstrom is directing from a script by Steven Knight (Eastern Promises), and the film boasts Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, and Juliet Blake as producers. DreamWorks recently dated the pic for release on August 8, 2014, so one expects filming should get underway either later this year or early next year. Hit the jump to read a synopsis for the book.
“That skinny Indian teenager has that mysterious something that comes along once a generation. He is one of those rare chefs who is simply born. He is an artist.”
And so begins the rise of Hassan Haji, the unlikely gourmand who recounts his life’sjourney in Richard Morais’s charming novel, The Hundred-Foot Journey. Lively and brimming with the colors, flavors, and scents of the kitchen, The Hundred-Foot Journey is a succulent treat about family, nationality, and the mysteries of good taste.
Born above his grandfather’s modest restaurant in Mumbai, Hassan first experienced life through intoxicating whiffs of spicy fish curry, trips to the local markets, and gourmet outings with his mother. But when tragedy pushes the family out of India, they console themselves by eating their way around the world, eventually settling in Lumière, a small village in the French Alps.
The boisterous Haji family takes Lumière by storm. They open an inexpensive Indian restaurant opposite an esteemed French relais—that of the famous chef Madame Mallory—and infuse the sleepy town with the spices of India, transforming the lives of its eccentric villagers and infuriating their celebrated neighbor. Only after Madame Mallory wages culinary war with the immigrant family, does she finally agree to mentor young Hassan, leading him to Paris, the launch of his own restaurant, and a slew of new adventures.
The Hundred-Foot Journey is about how the hundred-foot distance between a new Indian kitchen and a traditional French one can represent the gulf between different cultures and desires. A testament to the inevitability of destiny, this is a fable for the ages—charming, endearing, and compulsively readable. [Amazon]