Dave Franco is hoping his first stab at directing will be a good one. The star of Now You See Me, Scrubs and The Disaster Artist will debut his first feature film next month – a horror, called The Rental.
With a cast led by Franco’s real-life wife Alison Brie (GLOW), Dan Stevens (Apostle), Sheila Vand (Snowpiercer), and Jeremy Allen White (Shameless), the film presents itself as a pretty taut vacation thriller in its first trailer, which arrived online this week. Franco says he was mulling our ability to throw caution to the wind when it comes to a little R&R as he started writing the project with Easy creator Joe Swanberg.
“I think about how the country is as divided as it has ever been, and no one trusts each other, and yet we trust staying in the home of a stranger, simply because of a few positive reviews online,” Franco told EW.
You can see the first trailer for the film below…
It feels unlikely that anyone would cast Legion and The Guest actor Stevens as the “everything is fine” guy in a horror movie, so we expect there to be a bit more to The Rental than has been revealed in its trailer, unless we’re in deep red herring territory.
The official synopsis supports the former…
“Two couples on an ocean-side getaway grow suspicious that the host of their seemingly perfect rental house may be spying on them. Before long, what should have been a celebratory weekend trip turns into something far more sinister, as well-kept secrets are exposed and the four old friends come to see each other in a whole new light.”
Both Franco and Swanberg are horror nerds, and Swanberg has appeared in front of the camera during plenty of them to date, including You’re Next, A Horrible Way to Die and The Sacrament.
“I acted in Swanberg’s Netflix show Easy,” says Franco. “We got along really well and realized we had similar sensibilities and interests, including horror films. The idea of writing a horror with Joe was intriguing because his main strengths lie in character and relationships and we were excited to create characters that were well-rounded and relatable, so that when things inevitably start to go crazy in the film the audience is actually invested in whether or not these people live or die.”
If The Rental is a hit, we could be in line for a sequel, too.
“I have the whole thing mapped out in my head,” he confirms. “I just need to wait and see if The Rental is successful enough to give us the opportunity to carry on the story.”
The Rental will be streaming via VOD from July 24.