The Menu is one of the most successful movies of 2022: released in theatres in November 2022, the film received positive feedback from the spectators, who enjoy watching its disturbing horror story on the big screen. Starring Ralph Fiennes, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Nicholas Hoult, among others, the movie tells the story of a small group of people reaching an island with an exclusive restaurant, with the events quickly escalating into a scary situation. And differently from what you may expect, the inspiration for the plot came from a true story: let’s discover more about it.
You can watch the official trailer for The Menu movie below.
The Menu: the true story that inspired the movie
First of all, let’s clarify something obvious: The Menu tells a story where a selected group of people reaches an exclusive restaurant on an island, discovering soon that they are all about to die. The plot comes from the writers’ fantasy, of course, and no actual events ever reported could seem similar to the situation shown in the film. Nevertheless, a true story triggered the writers’ imagination, from one of their direct experiences.
The Menu was written by Will Tracy and Seth Reiss. Will Tracy shared in some interviews an authentic, direct experience that triggered his fantasy about the story in the movie: one day, he went to a restaurant on an island, similar to the one we see in the film; he was brought there by boat, and there was a lot of mystery around, the writer didn’t know many details of how the night would evolve. It was part of the experience, let’s say: the writer paid a considerable amount of money to be part of a special night, and the organization made sure that people would enjoy it as a memorable dinner. But Will Tracy went nervous and started thinking about everything that could go wrong in a situation like this. From there, the plot that we see in The Menu began to take form in his head.
Below you can find an extract of the interview he had with Above The Line, where he explained what happened:
“I went to a restaurant in Norway on an island. It’s kind of like in the film. We took a boat out and it was just only, maybe, 12-15 customers. We were given a tour of the island. I’m a bit of a claustrophobic, nervous person and I’m in a foreign country, and it was dark on the boat ride, and on an island, what if something goes wrong? I immediately started to become a bit paranoid but also immediately sensed — sometimes when you are in a situation like that, you should pay attention to like, ‘oh, would this be something interesting to write about if it’s making you have these very extreme feelings?’ I did say to my wife that this would be a good, at least, precinct for a story. I kind of just told that basic idea to Seth. We’re old friends and writing partners. Seth kind of came back with all these ideas for people [who] could be that way. With the structure, we kind of went back and forth and kind of came up with a menu-structured film called The Menu.”
From there, Will Tracy and Seth Reiss started to meet regularly, writing together the possible story for the movie. That became the basis for an actual movie script they developed afterward.
Of course, nothing terrible happened that night to Will Tracy. And no dinner in the world ever ended up with all participants and staff dying, as in the movie. But a true story inspired The Menu, which is an interesting curiosity to know before watching it.
More curious about the hidden meaning behind the movie? You can check the article below.