The darkly comedic psychological thriller The Menu is a project we’ve been following for nearly three years already, ever since it was announced that the film was happening with Alexander Payne at the helm and Emma Stone in the lead role. Payne and Stone have both had to move on due to scheduling issues since, with Mark Mylod (Ali G Indahouse) taking over as director and Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch) replacing Stone… But now The Menu is finally happening. Filming is currently underway in Savannah, Georgia.
We’ve previously heard that Taylor-Joy would be joined in the cast by Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road), Hong Chau (Downsizing), Janet McTeer (Tumbleweeds), John Leguizamo (George A. Romero’s Land of the Dead), Judith Light (Who’s the Boss?), Aimee Carrero (She-Ra and the Princesses of Power), and Ralph Fiennes (No Time to Die). Now that cameras are rolling, the names of several more cast members have been announced. As reported by Deadline, they are Reed Birney (The Hunt), Paul Adelstein (Intolerable Cruelty), Rob Yang (Succession), Arturo Castro (Mr. Corman), Mark St. Cyr (High School Musical: The Series), Rebecca Koon (Sharp Objects), Peter Grosz (At Home with Amy Sedaris), and Christina Brucato (Orange Is the New Black).
Deadline also revealed the names of some of the characters. Taylor-Joy and Hoult are playing a couple named Margot and Tyler, while Fiennes’ character is Chef Slowik. Chau is playing Elsa, McTeer is food critic Lillian Bloom, Leguizamo’s character is called Movie Star, Light is Anne, Carrero is Felicity, Birney is Richard, Yang is Bryce, Castro is Soren, St. Cyr is Dave, Koon is Linda, and Grosz is the Sommelier. Adelstein is playing “Lillian’s editor, who has accompanied her on this culinary experience; agreeing with anything and everything she says.” Brucato’s character is “Katherine, who is the direct and politely outspoken sous chef working for Chef Slowik.”
Scripted by Will Tracy (Last Week with John Oliver) and Seth Reiss (Late Night with Seth Meyers), The Menu is set
in the world of eccentric culinary culture, centering on a young couple who visit an exclusive restaurant on a remote island where an acclaimed chef has prepared a lavish tasting menu, with some shocking surprises.
Chef Slowik is a “globally-celebrated chef” who has developed this “eccentric culinary event” and “has added a few secret, and potentially nefarious, ingredients to his extravagant menu.” Three-time Michelin-starred chef Dominique Crenn is the film’s Chief Technical Consultant, helping the crafts team create the on-screen cuisine.
Set up at Searchlight, The Menu is being produced by Adam McKay and Betsy Koch through their company Hyperobject Industries. Searchlight’s SVP Production DanTram Nguyen and director of production Zahra Phillips are overseeing the project for the studio.