‘Downsizing’ Director Alexander Payne to Direct New Take on ‘Babette’s Feast’

     December 2, 2019


Sideways and Downsizing director Alexander Payne has found his next project in directing a remake of the 1987 European drama Babette’s Feast. It’s been two years since Payne’s last feature, Downsizing, was on the big screen back in 2017. Now, the award-nominated director is seemingly looking to break new ground in tackling this late ’80s classic.


Image via Orion Classics

As reported by Indiewire (via Deadline), Payne will be directing “a reimagining” of Babette’s Feast, which originally starred French actor Stéphane Audran as Babette, a French refugee from the Franco-Prussian War in the late 19th century who settles in a remote, religious village and proceeds to win the lottery and use her earnings to cook up a sumptuous feast for some of the town’s elders and most respected citizens. The original film was directed by Gabriel Axel, who also adapted the script from a story written by author Karen Blixen.

As far as the plot goes, it’s reported this new take on Babette’s Feast will focus on two older, unmarried sisters living in a small religious community in Minnesota who take in a refugee. Over the course of a spectacular meal, the sisters will confront their own prejudices.Additionally, comedian and screenwriter Guy Branum (The Mindy ProjectThe Other Two) will tackle the new script, hinting at the kind of comedic voice that could shine through in this new take. Payne and Branum’s Babette’s Feast has been set up at Unique Features, a production shingle set up by former New Line founder Bob Shaye and his late partner Michael Lynne. Shaye will produce with Jennifer Wachtell (The Royal Tenenbaums).

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