Art

A legendary fast-food restaurant founder gets a movie

By Nathan Kamal | 14 seconds ago

Strange as it may seem, KFC’s Colonel Sanders was once a real person and not just an animated dance cartoon with some unsettling antebellum vibes. But Harlan Sanders was indeed a real person, a businessman, and an outspoken critic of subpar fried chicken, and there will now be a KFC film to investigate that. More accurate, The Colonel’s Secret: Eleven Herbs and a Spicy Daughter, a memoir about his life and their complicated relationship written by Sanders’ daughter Margaret, is made into a feature film. Screenwriter Cheryl Guerriero is adapting the script and will produce with Meridian Pictures’ Eric Paquette. The film will delve into the tumultuous, almost mythical American life of Colonel Sanders, which is sure to be a wild ride for audiences. Appropriately for a man who made his fortune late in life from pressure-cooked chicken, the film is currently titled A Good Finger Licking Story: The Life of Colonel Sanders.

Any KFC film would be utterly incomplete without Colonel Harlan Sanders, but it seems Cheryl Guerriero will focus more on the man’s life than the now-global fast-food giant. Sanders went into the restaurant business later in life. First, in 1930, he opened a gas station for the Shell Oil Company and began preparing and serving food there, essentially as a side job. It was indeed a long and circuitous road that eventually led to the Kentucky Fried Chicken concept franchise, which involved motel ownership, extramarital affairs, fire and Sanders shooting at a business competitor. Yes, you read that correctly. At one point in his life, Colonel Sanders was involved in a shootout with a local competitor, resulting in one person being killed (shot by his rival Matt Stewart). It’s probably important to note that Sanders’ shoulder shot at Stewart was ruled self-defense (although it was made worse by Sanders’ aggressive business practices).

kfc movie

The KFC film that will be known as A Good Finger Licking Story: The Life of Colonel Sanders (which is just fun to write about) will likely focus on Colonel Sanders’ many careers, including a railroad worker, a lawyer (until they got into a physical fight in a courtroom), a soldier (although not an actual military colonel) and an emergency nurse . After selling the rights to Kentucky Fried Chicken (many years before it was shortened to the ever-changing acronym KFC), Sanders later publicly criticized the massively growing chain for its perceived drop in quality, leading to a legal battle between the company and its founder.

Speaking of which, the upcoming KFC movie follows in the footsteps of the 2016 biopic The founder, in which Michael Keaton portrayed another complicated fast-food industry icon, McDonald’s chairman Ray Kroc. While this film was critically well-received, its release was hampered by alleged internal politics within The Weinstein Company and led to a lawsuit. Hopefully that’s not the case with this film about the life of a legendary businessman who’s been immortalized by a rotating cast of impersonators. Also, this is not the first KFC film produced. Next, we’re getting a film about the life of Wendy’s Dave Thomas in production right now.

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