‘The Menu’ filmmakers share ingredients of dining thriller

In the new thriller “The Menu,” a group of 11 diners gather one evening on a private island in the Pacific Northwest for a once-in-a-lifetime meal prepared by a renowned chef.

No one, not the movie star, the tech bros, the foodie fanboy, the food critic, the wealthy regulars, nor the wild card date, is prepared for just how intense and dangerous things will get as the meal unfolds under the guidance of Ralph Fiennes’ brilliant and tortured Chef Slowik. The meal costs $1,200 per person and promises to be a unique experience.

Will Tracy and Seth Reiss, both former employees of The Onion and HBO’s “Succession,” are the writers of the movie. After Tracy’s encounter at a posh eatery on a private island in Norway, the idea to mock the cultish fine dining industry was born. They submitted their script to director Mark Mylod, who also helmed “Succession’s” excruciatingly long dinner party episode from season two, and the team got right to work, producing one of the year’s most exciting and unexpected movies that was also funny, twisted, and just a little bit heartbreaking. Friday is its nationwide theatrical debut.

Mylod borrowed a page from Robert Altman’s playbook to create a dynamic dining room experience, where all of the characters would be on set constantly, acting and conversing even when the script was nominally focused on someone else.