RBG filmmakers cooking up Julia Child documentary
Oscar nominees Betsy West and Julie Cohen will bring Julia Child's life to the big screen.
Oscar-nominated filmmakers Betsy West and Julie Cohen have popped a new feature documentary into the cinematic oven.
In an interview published Tuesday, the RBG directors told Variety they are currently working on bringing Julia Child‘s storied career and personal life to the big screen, which is in development under the working title Julia.
“She was larger than life, literally. She was 6’2” or 6’3” and kind of clunky in a way, but also totally self-confident and funny and authentic, and people really responded to it,” West told the publication of the film’s subject, who rose to prominence at age 50 in 1961 with the publication of her best-selling cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which led to her star-making turn at the helm of her popular how-to television series The French Chef. “Now cooking shows are a dime a dozen, but back then what she did was revolutionary and really spawned a change in the way Americans thought about food.”
Cohen explained that Child’s story piqued the co-directors’ interest because of its relevance to 2019’s social and political landscape.
“I don’t think that many girls would have thought of chef as even a possible career choice before Julia Child did it,” Cohen said, adding that the film will incorporate “food cinematography that’s quite different than anything you’ve ever seen” in an effort to make edible items a character in their own right.
The directors chose their next project after scoring major awards season success with 2018’s RBG, which chronicled the life of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and scored two Academy Award nominations (one for Best Documentary, the other for Diane Warren’s original soundtrack tune “I’ll Fight”) on top of earning $14 million at the domestic box office.
West and Cohen said the film came together as the pair sought to tell the story of another female trailblazer, and they eventually found backing via RBG producing partner CNN Films as well as Imagine Documentaries.
Though Child died in 2004 at age 91, Julia will document her life via years of archival footage as well as interviews with surviving colleagues, friends, and chefs whose work she inspired.
Child’s life previously served as the basis for Nora Ephron’s 2009 movie Julie & Julia, which starred Amy Adams as a food blogger who used Child’s (Meryl Streep, who scored an Oscar nod for the project) teachings as a means to restructure her harried life.
Principal photography on the film is expected to concluded in 2020. A release date has yet to be announced. Read Variety‘s full story here.