While his most ambitious film thus far–the peculiar, yet compelling Downsizing–was his least well-received, Alexander Payne aims to bounce back by going a wildly different route for this next film The Menu, a horror-thriller with comedic touches. Produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay through Gary Sanchez Productions in one of their last collaborations for some time, the first casting has been unveiled.
Payne is eying both Emma Stone and Ralph Fiennes to star in the film, Collider reports and Deadline confirms they’ve signed on. Scripted by Will Tracy (Succession) and Seth Reiss (Late Night With Seth Meyers), the film explores the culinary world with a satirical twist. Described as “Tarantino-esque,” Emma Stone will play one-half a couple who treks to a remote island where Fiennes is the head chef at an elite restaurant and has cooked up some “shocking surprises” on the menu.
It’s certainly new territory for Payne, but with the rather milquetoast offerings we’ve recently gotten in the world of food-related films, from Burnt to Chef, hopefully this has a bite akin to something like The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover. As we await more details, check out Payne’s recent visit to Criterion.