Daniel Kaluuya is co-writing and co-producing The Kitchen, a new British dystopian thriller movie headed exclusively for Netflix. Having been in development since at least 2016, the new movie has wrapped production and is expected to arrive in “Late 2023” after premiering at the 67th BFI Film Festival.
Editor’s note: What’s on Netflix amongst the first to report the movie in March 2022, with this preview being updated to reflect the latest developments. It was last updated in August 2023 with the new photo and information about its premiere date.
59% Productions and DMC Film are collaborating on the film, which is being dubbed as a futuristic dystopian drama. Film4 and Factory Fifteen are also producing.
Here’s everything we know about the project thus far:
What’s The Kitchen on Netflix about?
Here’s a logline for the “high concept” project set to film in London and Paris, which, according to sources, has begun:
“London, 2040 – rising house prices, computerized labour and eradication of the Welfare State has turned the city into a billionaire’s playground, pushing the lower classes to provincial empty slum-like high rises like The Kitchen. Ex-Smash-and-Grabber Izi is desperate to go straight but when his young son contracts a devastating illness, he is forced to take part in a heist that will change the lives of everyone in The Kitchen forever.”
Daniel Kaluuya, on the announcement of the movie posted on Instagram:
“This one has been 8 years in the making with director @kibwetavares and producer Dan Emmerson, started from a conversation in a barbershop when I found out kids were doing million pound heists in a minute for £200 to a dystopian London in the future.
Production just started on The Kitchen. Proud to be co-writing (w/ Joe Murtagh) and producing on this one through my production company 59%, DMC film, Film 4 & @netflixuk @netflix.
Starring @therealkano and Jedaiah Bannerman.
Looking forward to you guys taking it away with you.
In a bit.”
Who’s behind The Kitchen on Netflix?
The initial idea for the project came from Daniel Kaluuya, Kibwe Tavares, and Daniel Emmerson, who are all involved in the project in various capacities.
Kibwe Tavares will make his feature film directorial debut in the movie. He’s the founder of a production company called Factory Fifteen. He notably worked on the BBC’s Noughts + Crosses as an executive producer. He has also directed and written many sci-fi shorts, including Robot & Scarecrow, Polar Bear, and Robots of Brixton.
Talking about the project, Tavares said:
“The Kitchen is very much a love letter to London, the city that has defined my childhood and ultimately my identity. It’s set in an extreme version of our current world; our characters have little choice but to let the city take over them. Through Benji, a 12 year old in need of care, we explore what we as society lose in the ever changing and shifting patterns of life, of our cities. This is a film for all the communities out there that are trying to take care of each other.”
Co-writing the project are Daniel Kaluuya and Joe Murtagh.
Kaluuya is the Oscar-award-winning actor, writer, and producer known for the likes of Get Out, Black Panther, and Netflix’s Black Mirror episode Fifteen Million Merits. Kaluuya is also attached to another high-profile Netflix project where he’ll star and produce. The project in question is The Upper World first announced for Netflix back in August 2020. Kaluuya was mentioned in the aforementioned interview to star in the Netflix movie, but whether that’s still the case is unknown.
Murtagh worked on two major projects, including Calm with Horses (another DMC Film) and Gangs of London.
Kareem Adeshina serves as associate producer on the movie, Wyatt Garfield is director of Photography.
Who’s starring in Netflix’s The Kitchen?
Two names have been announced for the movie alongside today’s announcement.
Kane Robinson (Kano) will be playing the lead role of Izi, having recently appeared in Netflix’s Top Boy season 2.
Jedaiah Bannerman, a newcomer, will play the co-lead of Benji.
Hope Ikpoku Jr, Teija Kabs, Demmy Ladipo, Cristale, and BackRoad Gee round out the main cast.
Also, the cast for The Kitchen includes:
- Henry Lawfull (A Boy Called Christmas) as Cronik
- Pierre Bergman (Ted Lasso)
- Fiona Marr (Ted Lasso)
- Demmy Ladipo (Queenie) as Jase
- Lola-Rose Maxwell (Starstruck) as Fiona
The Kitchen has been in development for six years
The project has been in the works for quite some time. It was first publicly announced back in 2016, taking part in a Sundance Directors Lab scheme but featured again via ScreenDaily’s 2018 profile on DMC Film. The profile talks about the then-upcoming movie Calm with Horses (a movie that Netflix licensed in many regions last year) and even talks about a “dystopian thriller” called “The Kitchen, written by Daniel Kaluuya and to be directed by Kibwe Tavares.”
Going back to 2017, Tavares spoke to OnePointFour about talking about what we can expect but added that production would be starting in 2018 (that didn’t happen) and that funding could be an issue, especially given the scope of the movie:
“We’re hopefully going into production at some point next year. We’ve got our core financier Film4 and then we’re going to get some more finance from other partners, we’ve got one more draft before we do that. But we’ve got a lot of interest because Daniel Kaluuya is starring in it and he was also in Get Out, which was a big smash hit this summer, and we’ve always had a lot of interest anyway from Sundance, they’ve been willing us and pushing us to make it.”
Of course, the movie now lands at Netflix courtesy of the director of UK features for Netflix, Fiona Lamptey, who joined Netflix in October 2020.
When will The Kitchen be released on Netflix?
Production on the movie began in late March 2022 and ran through much of 2022. It was filmed in both London and Paris.
According to Kareem Adeshina’s website, the movie will be released on Netflix in late 2023. It’s one of several high-profile movies Netflix has towards the end of the year, including David Fincher’s The Killer and Zack Snyder’s Rebel Moon.
In August 2023, Netflix UK and Ireland confirmed that the movie would be premiering and closing the closing the 67th BFI London Film Festival on October 15th. The festival runs between October 4th and the 15th.
BFI London Film Festival Director Kristy Matheson said in a statement about the premiere:
“Kibwe Tavares & Daniel Kaluuya have made a film that totally explodes our expectations of contemporary UK cinema. The Kitchen offers such scope for audiences – the essential social politics and high-octane energy gel perfectly to create an electrifying big screen experience. We could not be more excited to close the festival with this inventive film set in a near future London that showcases this incredibly talented team who call this city home.”
There’s more to come – let us know in the comments if you’re looking forward to watching The Kitchen on Netflix.