Julia Child Documentary From ‘RBG’ Directors Acquired by Sony Pictures Classics

Ron Howard and CNN Films among producers

Julia Child (1)
Photo by Fairchild Archive/Penske Media/Shutterstock

Sony Pictures Classics has acquired the rights to a new Julia Child documentary from “RBG” directors Julie Cohen and Betsy West.

The doc, tentatively titled “Julia,” will tell the story of the cookbook author and television superstar “who changed the way Americans think about food, television, and even about women,” according to the distributor.

It will draw upon never-before-seen archival footage, personal photos and food cinematography to trace Child’s life journey, from her struggles to publish her revolutionary 1961 book “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” (1961) to how a woman in her 50s found fame as an unlikely TV sensation.

Sony Classics will have worldwide rights to the doc, though domestic television broadcast rights will go to CNN Films.

The film will be produced by Cohen and West along with with Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Michael Rosenberg, Amy Entelis and Courtney Sexton for CNN Films; Imagine Documentaries’ Justin Wilkes and Sara Bernstein, and Oren Jacoby of Storyville Films.

“‘Julia’ promises to be a major independent movie event in 2021 — entertaining, revelatory and resonant for today,” Sony Pictures Classics execs said in a statement. “It is great to be in partnership with Imagine, CNN Films, and the formidable directors, Julie Cohen and Betsy West. We expect audiences will embrace ‘Julia’ in a big way.”

“Julia’s story is surprising, empowering, sexy, and downright delicious,” West said, while Cohen added: “To be working on this project with the teams at Sony Pictures Classics, Imagine Documentaries and CNN Films is the crème fraîche on the tarte Tatin!”

The film is being produced with the full cooperation of Child’s friends and family, as well as the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts. It is based on her 2007 book with co-author Alex Prud’homme, “My Life in France,” as well as Prud’homme’s 2017 book “The French Chef in America: Julia Child’s Second Act,” and “Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child” by Bob Spitz. Spitz and Prud’homme are also executive producers on the film.

HBO Max recently ordered a Julia Child series to pilot, starring Sarah Lancashire as Child and Tom Hollander as her husband, Paul.