The same team behind The Pursuit of Happyness is interested in taking another larger-than-life story and sticking Will Smith in the lead role. Columbia Pictures has snagged the rights to Jeff Henderson's memoir Cooked, for Overbrook's James Lassiter to produce alongside Todd Black and Jason Blumenthal of Escape Artists. Smith will most likely star should he approve the script. All four men produced Happyness, which helped Smith nab a best actor Oscar nod.
Cooked is similar to Happyness in that it tells the story of a man whose life drastically turns around after he's offered a second chance. Henderson was a cocaine dealer who was eventually nabbed by cops and thrown in jail for 19 years. However, while imprisoned he discovered a passion for cooking ... ya know, real food. Through a series of trials and tribulations, Henderson (who calls himself Chef Jeff) eventually managed to become the exec chef at Cafe Bellagio in Las Vegas following his release from prison. It's a fantastic role for Smith, who I've been itching to see play someone with more of an edge (like a coke dealer sent to prison), instead of the same old hero time and time again. It's time for a change Will; time to get dirty. What do you think?