Searchlight Pictures’ new dark comedy horror film The Menu is set to come to theaters this fall. From director Mark Mylod, the film stars Anya Taylor-Joy and Nicholas Hoult as a young couple who travel to a remote island restaurant run by an enigmatic chef.
Mylod is an English director best known for his work in television, directing episodes of acclaimed shows like Game of Thrones, Shameless, Succession, and Entourage. His film directing work includes British films Ali G Indahouse, The Big White, and the American made What’s Your Number?. The Menu will mark the iconic British director’s second American-made feature.
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Work on The Menu is already underway, with filming taking place in Savannah, Georgia, during the fall of 2021. With that in mind, let’s take a look at everything we know about The Menu as of now. What can we expect from the story of this so-called “mysterious chef?” In addition to lead stars Taylor-Joy and Hoult, who else is in the cast? When and where will we see the film when it is released? And what else should audiences know about The Menu?
The Menu: Plot
While specific plot details are still being kept under wraps, we do know the basic premise of the story. Additionally, the trailer’s release gave us a feel for the tense vibe and atmosphere that Mylod is going for with the unsettling restaurant. As mentioned, Anya Taylor-Joy and Nicholas Hoult star as a couple who travels to Hawthorne, an exclusive restaurant on a remote island. Celebrity chef Slowik has prepared a lavish menu for the couple and other patrons, though it quickly becomes clear that the restaurant and chef are not what they seem. Guests turn up dead, and the other chefs exhibit a cult-like devotion to head chef Slowik.
Taylor-Joy’s character is less into the experience than Hoult’s, suspecting that something is off the entire time. The trailer intentionally leaves many plot points ambiguous, such as what the chef’s secret actually is and why the other chefs appear so devoted to him. Similarly, the patrons appear unnerved as the night goes on, but it is not shown why they react this way. We see Slowik act bizarre and devoted to his craft, and at least one guest appears to be stabbed to death, but nothing else explicit is revealed. Audiences can make their own guesses as to what the restaurant is about based on the implications. The trailer is likely leaving many unknowns to build up suspense and anticipation.
The Menu: Cast
In addition to leading stars Anya Taylor-Joy and Nicholas Hoult, The Menu boasts an impressive ensemble of some big names. Taylor-Joy and Hoult star in the lead roles of Margot and Tyler, respectively, the couple who travels to the island for dinner at Hawthorne. Ralph Fiennes is joining them, playing the elusive and unsettling Chef Slowik. English actress Janet McTeer will portray Lillian Bloom, a food critic who comes to review the restaurant, unaware of the shocking surprises in store. Paul Adelstein, co-creator of Bravo’s Imposters, will play Lillian’s editor, who accompanies her to Hawthorne and always agrees with everything that she says.
Succession actor Rob Yang portrays Bryce, a rich and entitled “tech nerd” who has a personal relationship with Chef Slowik. As such, he expects special treatment but does not receive it and is subjected to the same horrors as the other guests. Orange Is the New Black’s Christina Brucato will play Katherine, the sous chef working second in command to Slowik.
The remaining stars do have confirmed roles, though we do not know their exact stories or connection to the plot yet. Hong Chau of Downsizing and Watchmen plays a character named Elsa, and actor John Leguizamo is an unnamed movie star who is another restaurant patron. Judith Light will be playing Anne, and Young & Hungry’s Aimee Carrero is Felicity. Broadway’s Reed Birney is Richard, with Narcos actor Arturo Castro appearing as Soren, and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series’ Mark St. Cyr as Dave. Sharp Objects star Rebecca Koon portrays Linda, and actor Peter Grosz as a sommelier, an expert in all things wine and wine tasting.
We can expect to learn more about these characters and how they will factor into the storyline in the coming weeks and months.
Release Date: What We Know
The film is set to be theatrically released by Searchlight Pictures in the United States on November 18, 2022, which places it just before Thanksgiving. This date doesn’t seem coincidental, as the potential murder mystery dinner party-themed film should be an excellent choice to take your family in preparation for Thanksgiving dinner.
It’s still unclear what is happening at Chef Slowik’s island, and all we can do now is infer from the trailer what the situation might be and what’s for dinner on the titular “menu.”