Kosta Nikas and Mike Wilcox team up for ‘Crooked Chef’

Kosta Nikas.

Writer-director Kosta Nikas and veteran producer Mike Wilcox are teaming up for Crooked Chef, a romantic comedy which centres on a bunch of gangsters who take over a TV cooking show.

Nikas intends to cast an A-list Australian or US male lead and a female lead from Italy for the independently financed film which is scheduled to shoot in Sydney in June 2019.

It will be Nikas’ second feature following his debut Sacred Heart, which chronicles the journey of a religious man who rejects God and his faith after the death of his pregnant wife, then challenges the Devil as he struggles with his desire for revenge.

Umbrella Entertainment will release the drama which starred David Field, Kipan Rothbury and Lizzie Schebesta on August 1. Gravitas Ventures has acquired the US rights and will launch the film in June.

Nikas originally envisioned Crooked Chef as a TV series and pitched it to various networks. The late Caterina de Nave, who was SBS’s commissioning editor, liked the project but could not get the budget approved so he started developing a feature film version in 2012/2013.

Wilcox has been enticed out of retirement to work on the film, judging the script as one of the best he’s read in 20 years.

“I’ve been following Kosta’s work for a while now and quite frankly I am not surprised. He can write across any genre on any topic,” said Wilcox, whose credits include Chris Thomson’s The Delinquents, which starred Kylie Minogue and Charlie Schlatter, and Jerzy Domaradzki’s Lilian’s Story, which starred Ruth Cracknell, Toni Collette and Barry Otto.