Actor, director and screenwriter Jon Favreau traded the high-flying super hero antics of his "Iron Man" movies for a quieter new film about a celebrated chef who quits his job at a top-flight restaurant and takes to the road in a food truck.
"Chef," a small-budget, independent comedy with a big-name cast, including "Iron Man" veterans Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson, made its premiere at the South by Southwest film festival in Austin this weekend.
It will open nationwide on May 9.
For Favreau, "Chef" helped cleanse his palate after directing the first two of the three Iron Man films, which have a combined world box office of more than $1 billion. The movie also comes ahead of what will likely be his next expensive project, an adaption of "The Jungle Book."
His new movie is more of a personal story about a chef named Carl Casper pushed out of his kitchen due to social media gaffes that spiral out of control and conflicts with the restaurant owner, played by Dustin Hoffman.
To keep costs down, the A-list actors were paid the bare minimum and the special effects of his previous films have been traded for close-ups of the knife work used in preparing food for the kitchen.
Gratuitous shots of mouth-watering dishes take the place of massive explosions.