Alan Ball, the Academy Award winning screenwriter of American Beauty, is set to direct and co-write I Am Chippendales, which tells the bizarre true story of the origins of the adult male dance troupe Chippendales that eventually became a worldwide sensation. The film, adapted from the non-fiction book by Ron Shelton of the same name, may be adding a top name to its roster, as Ben Stiller appears currently talks for one of the leading roles. Conceptually conceived as a sort of Magic Mike meets Scarface, the material may serve well for Ball, a provocative filmmaker who in recent years has mostly been working on the television shows Banshee, True Blood and Six Feet Under. This would mark Ball’s second time directing a feature film, following his controversial 2007 debut Towelhead, a film that explored the sexual awakening of an Arab American teenage girl.
I Am Chippendales will focus on founders Paul Snider and primarily on Somen “Steve” Banerjee, whose rags-to-riches story birthed one much stranger and sadder. One of the other major characters of the movie is Nick DeNoia, to which may be played by Stiller, a choreographer who contributed to the idea and branding of the adult male revue. The roles of Banerjee and Snider have yet to be cast. In the 1980s, Banerjee started the decade a struggling immigrant working at a gas station only to become filthy rich by the success of running the successful night club routine. Fueled by competition and a life of excess, his story evolved into one of crime and paranoia. Banerjee was later arrested and committed suicide in his jail cell in 1994.
Stiller was last seen in theaters in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (a film in which he also directed) and next will star in the third Night at the Museum outing (due this Christmas) and reunite with his Greenberg director Noah Baumbach for the comedy While We’re Young opposite Amanda Seyfried, Naomi Watts and Adam Driver.