True crime is a vast genre, and every aficionado has their preferred corners of the true crime library. Mine is “cocaine-fueled mayhem of the Seventies and Eighties”, so the story of the Chippendales murder-for-hire plot is an old, well not favorite, because people died, but a much-revisited tale of excess and exotic dancing. With true crime thoroughly planted in the zeitgeist, the story of the Chippendales dancers and the mayhem that followed is finally getting the glossy Hollywood treatment. (There was a TV movie in 2000, it’s not horrible, but it’s not great, either.) Dev Patel is already on board to play Chippendales’ founder Steve Banerjee, and now Seth Rogen and Elle Fanning are in talks to star as, possibly, Nick De Noia, the Chippendales choreographer, and Dorothy Stratten, the actor and Playboy Playmate who suggested the Chippendale dancers wear cuffs and bowties, like Playboy Bunnies. (Stratten is herself, tragically, the center of a famous Eighties murder tale.)
First of all, STELLAR casting. Elle Fanning as Dorothy Stratten is so good, I kind of wish it was for a project centered on Stratten herself. Second of all, this would reunite Seth Rogen with director Craig Gillespie, they recently worked together on Pam & Tommy. This would also be Rogen’s second foray into true crime following Pam & Tommy, do we think he’s a closet murderino? And third of all, you know I think Dev Patel should be in all the things but casting Dev Patel as Steve Banerjee is inspired. Patel can do wide-eyed innocence and joy as well as anyone, and he makes for a wildly charming romantic leading man, but he has a seriously underutilized talent for playing unpleasant that we only see in snatches in performances in films like Lion, The Wedding Guest, and The Green Knight. He should have more opportunities to play assholes and reprobates. Anyway, Dev Patel should be the next James Bond.