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Read ‘The Menu’ Script Here to Dissect the Delicious Wordplay in Mark Mylod’s Dark Comedy

Seth Reiss and Will Tracy's script set The Black List ablaze in 2019 before being cooked into a film starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicholas Hoult, and Ralph Fiennes.

THE MENU, front, from left: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Fiennes, Nicholas Hoult, 2022. ph: Eric Zachanowich / © Searchlight Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

“The Menu”

©Searchlight Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

This luxe prix fixe meal is a feast for the eyes thanks to the buzzy screenplay behind one of 2022’s top films.

The Menu” made waves at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival upon its premiere, with Ralph Fiennes starring as a celebrity chef with a sinister scheme in mind, while Nicholas Hoult and Anya Taylor-Joy are guests at his restaurant on a remote island that redefines what it means to be a server and a taker, or rather, a feeder and an eater. John Leguizamo and Judith Light also star.

Fiennes and Taylor-Joy were both nominated for Golden Globes, with screenwriters Seth Reiss and Will Tracy being internationally recognized by film critics circles.

The script for “The Menu” was plated on the 2019 Black List before “Succession” helmer Mark Mylod helmed the feature. Adam McKay, Will Ferrell, and Betsy Koch produced the film, with Searchlight Pictures distributing.

As an IndieWire exclusive, you can now read the full screenplay for “The Menu” here.

IndieWire’s Christian Blauvelt praised the genre-transcending dark comedy for constantly keeping audiences in suspense. You’ll never look at s’mores the same way again thanks to the artful food styling of “The Menu,” and star Taylor-Joy exclusively told IndieWire that it was imperative to stay in character on set through the duration of “dinner” during the tense shoot despite the outrageous cuisine.

“[Director] Mark [Mylod] wanted us to stay, I’m going to say ‘on stage,’ and in character all the time, because the camera was just moving around, so we were constantly improvising,” Taylor-Joy said. “Usually if there’s a close-up on somebody else, you’ll go and rest or I’d read, just something that will replenish your energy. But on this one, we all just stayed. Everyone just stayed and enjoyed having front-row seats to brilliant performances. Each table is its own little microcosm and world.”

While defining the film, she continued, “I think it’s a dark comedy satire. I do think that if you’re a horror fan, you will enjoy it. You’ll get a kick out of certain moments and you’ll definitely hopefully have that thriller element that keeps you on your toes. But what I love the most is, forgive the food pun, this is a smorgasbord of everything for everyone. If you want to have a laugh, you’ve got it. If you want to have a scream, you’ve got it. If you want to be angry or potentially see some of yourself in a reflection, that’s in there. I love the fact that it’s a medley of all of those things.”

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