Director Mark Mylod and producer Betsy Koch joined TheWrap and Shutterstock’s Interview and Portrait Studio at the Toronto International Film Festival to discuss their new film “The Menu,” a dark, bloody satire of the one percent and the restaurants that cater to them.
The film stars Ralph Fiennes as the pretentious, craft-obsessed head chef at an exclusive restaurant on a remote island. Nicholas Hoult and Anya Taylor-Joy play a foodie and his very skeptical girlfriend who pay $2,500 to attend an exclusive dinner on this island, but soon find themselves ensnared in the dark secret behind this restaurant that slowly reveals itself with each passing course.
Mylod is an Emmy winner as producer of the acclaimed HBO series “Succession” and has directed episodes of that show, along with “Game of Thrones,” “Entourage,” and “Shameless.” He told TheWrap’s Executive Editor, Awards, Steve Pond, that he signed on for “The Menu” after reading the script while directing an episode of “Succession.”
“When I first started to direct, I wanted that theatrical career. But my early movies weren’t very good, to be honest, so I had a lot of growing up to do,” Mylod said. The script by Seth Reiss and Will Tracy, he said, “had a unique tone that I knew would be hard to find. It would be easy to skew, either too dark or too comedic. It required a unique, bitting edge and that was sort of the unique, creative challenge for all of us.”
Mylod and Koch also discussed the work they put in with the cast to bring the script’s satirical bite to life, going so far as to bring in three-star Michelin chef Dominique Creen as a consultant to train the actors working as the restaurant’s waiters and chefs on how to perfectly replicate the atmosphere of a fine dining restaurant focused on “molecular gastronomy.” For more on that, check out the interview in the clip above.
“The Menu” will be released by Searchlight Pictures on November 18. Hong Chau, John Leguziamo, Judith Light and Janet McTeer also star in the film. Seth Reiss and Will Tracy wrote the script with Koch producing alongside Adam McKay.
Studio sponsors include GreenSlate, Moët & Chandon, PEX and Vancouver Film School.