A comedy, an action film, and a drama. Well, Helen Mirren already had the first two covered on the list of upcoming films she’ll appear in, and now she’s got the third fastracked as well. The actress, who lends her voice to Monsters University (out later this month) and reprises her role as an ex-CIA wetwork specialist in Red 2, due out mid July, has signed onto a leading role in The Hundred Foot Journey, which follows the head chef of a high-end restaurant (Mirren) in her frustrations when an Indian food restaurant moves in across the street. She takes a liking to the boy whose family owns the rival restaurant, however, and begins to teach him about cooking.
The Hundred Foot Journey is based on a novel of the same name by Richarad C. Morais. While no other cast is set (and, in fact, Mirren’s deal is yet to be finalized) deadline is reporting that DreamWorks is fast-tracking the project, and plans to begin shooting in August. Behind the camera will be Lasse Hallstrom, who just finished directing the latest Nicholas Sparks adaptation, Safe Haven, and was nominated for directing Oscars for both My Life as a Dog (1988) and Cider House Rules (2000). Deadline is also reporting writer Steven Knight, who adapted Eastern Promises, is at work on the script, and that Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, and veteran TV producer Juliet Blake are attached to produce the movie.
Mirren’s attachment actually follows form perfectly. With the exception of a busy 2010 and a slightly fuller than normal 2001, Mirren has appeared in either one or two movies every year since 1993. The Hundred Foot Journey makes at least one, with the possibility that middle-eastern thriller Deadlocked may still see production and be released sometime next year. It is looking like a bit of a long shot, however; Deadlocked was originally scheduled to shoot in spring of 2012, but there has been little news since and it would appear the project is still in development.