Writer and producer Cheryl Guerriero got good notices last year for the Justin Timberlake-led Palmer. Now she has adapted a book by the daughter of Colonel Sanders himself, The Colonel’s Secret: Eleven Herbs and a Spicy Daughter by Margaret Sanders. The movie will tell the life story of KFC founder Colonel Harland Sanders and will be titled A Finger Lickin’ Good Story: The Life of Colonel Sanders.
Sanders held a number of jobs in his early life, such as steam engine stoker, insurance salesman, and filling station operator. He began selling fried chicken from his roadside restaurant in North Corbin, Kentucky, during the Great Depression.
During that time, Sanders developed his “secret recipe” and his patented method of cooking chicken in a pressure fryer. Sanders recognized the potential of the restaurant franchising concept, and the first KFC franchise opened in South Salt Lake, Utah, in 1952. When his original restaurant closed, he devoted himself full-time to franchising his fried chicken throughout the country.
The company’s rapid expansion across the United States and overseas became overwhelming for Sanders. In 1964, then 73 years old, he sold the company to a group of investors led by John Y. Brown Jr. and Jack C. Massey for $2 million ($16.7 million adjusted).
However, he retained control of operations in Canada, and he became a salaried brand ambassador for Kentucky Fried Chicken. In his later years, he became highly critical of the food served by KFC restaurants, as he believed they had cut costs and allowed quality to deteriorate.
The title “colonel” is an honorific title, the highest awarded by the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the Kentucky Colonel, and is not a military rank. The Governor of Kentucky bestows the honor of a colonel’s commission, by issuance of letters patent.
Sanders died in 1980, but KFC still uses his persona as its symbol
The book tells the story of his sometimes complicated relationship with his daughter, Margaret. He was 65 years old when he started on his franchise mission.
Guerriero will produce along with Eric Paquette and his Meridian Pictures label.