EXCLUSIVE: The hot project du jour: The Menu, a dark satirical comedy that Alexander Payne will direct. So far, Emma Stone and Ralph Fiennes have signed on to star, and it’s anticipated that other swell names will enlist.
Scripted by Will Tracy & Seth Reiss, the pic focuses on an eccentric culinary event that is planned for an exclusive island and becomes the hot ticket to die for. I’ve heard it referred to as a Tarantino-esque take on The One-Percent. Fiennes plays the world-class chef who sets it all up and adds some unexpected ingredients to the menu planned. The action follows one particular A-list couple that takes part. I’ve heard Stone will play half of that couple.
The picture is produced by Gary Sanchez, who have a first look at Paramount. I reported Saturday that Gary Sanchez principals Will Ferrell and Adam McKay are splitting, but that script is into Paramount now, and that studio has a week or so to furnish a proposal. After that, Gary Sanchez can shop the project wide. Like Payne’s great films The Descendants and Nebraska, the budget here is smallish but there will be profit participation as part of the package. First step is to see if Paramount steps up, after which it will be a free for all, based on the buzz I am hearing.
Stone is WME and Anonymous Content, Fiennes and Payne are CAA. Reiss is with UTA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners. Tracy is with WME.