It's the first feature-length documentary solely devoted to Child's life and career.

By Jelisa Castrodale
October 10, 2019

Even if your cooking style is more DoorDash than DIY, you know Julia Child. The late American icon became one of the OG celebrity chefs thanks to the almost 40 years that she appeared on television and the still-relevant techniques in her cookbooks, which have taught more than one generation of Americans how to cook like the French.

Surprisingly, there has never been a full-length documentary about Child, who died in 2004 at 91. That's not to say that she hasn't been name-dropped in pop culture: she was portrayed by Meryl Streep in the blog-turned-book-turned-flick Julie & Julia, and her story was hilariously (but kind of inaccurately) told during a food-themed episode of Comedy Central's Drunk History. Two years ago, it was reported that a division of ABC bought an hour-long pilot based on her work during World War II for the Office of Strategic Services—a predecessor of the CIA—but the show was never developed.

That's a long way of saying that we're super excited to hear that Imagine Documentaries and CNN Films are teaming up with acclaimed filmmakers Betsy West and Julie Cohen to produce a documentary about Child's life. The feature-length film "will tell the story of the groundbreaking cookbook author and television superstar who forever changed the way Americans think about food, about television, and even about women," the filmmakers said in a statement. Its current title is simply Julia.

"Even people familiar with her story will be surprised at her multidimensional contributions to American culture and culinary history," Amy Entelis said on behalf of CNN Films. "The film will also reveal her lesser-known, quiet heroism during some of the world's most tumultuous times."

Julia has already gotten a nod of approval from Child's friends and family, and the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and Culinary Arts has also pledged its cooperation. (Getting the Foundation's OK is huge: it holds the rights to the use of Child's name and likeness, and it takes that role seriously.)

Rick Friedman/Getty Images

Child's story is in good hands—and she's in good company. Julia will be the second collaboration between CNN Films and West and Cohen's Storyville Films. Their previous documentary, RBG, covered the life and career of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (That film won an Emmy, and was nominated for a stack of other awards, including an Academy Award and a BAFTA.)

"Nothing gets us more pumped than telling stories of women who accomplished things people said they could never do,” Cohen said in a statement. “Julia's story has inspiration, romance, and plenty of spice.”

As of this writing, a release date for Julia has not yet been set.

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