The film is set in London, 2044, in “future where the gap between rich and poor has been stretched to its limits”, according to the official logline.
“All forms of social housing have been eradicated and London’s working classes have been forced to live in temporary accommodation on the outskirts of the city, The Kitchen is the first and the largest of its kind, it’s London’s last village harbouring residents that refuse to move on and move out of the place they call home.
“It’s here we meet Izi, a resident of the kitchen who is desperately trying to find a way out and 12-year-old, Benji, who has lost his mother and is searching for a family.
“We follow our unlikely pair as they battle to survive in a system that is stacked against them.”
Kane Robinson is set to star in the film as Izi, with newcomer Jedaiah Bannerman slated to play Benji. It will shoot on location in London and Paris.
The film is based on an original idea by Kaluuya, Kibwe Tavares, and Daniel Emmerson. The film will be directed by Tavares, marking his first feature film as a director.
The Kitchen has been in development for some time already, having been selected for the Sundance Screenwriting and Directing Lab back in 2016.
“In 2011, I was in my barbershop and there was a guy boasting about smash and grabs — kids doing million-pound heists in a minute, getting paid £200 [AUD$349] to do it,” said Kaluuya in a statement, per Variety. “I saw the potential to unlock a unique story door to the inequality, fatherhood, class, joy, resilience, courage, defiance and care of London.”
“Now, nearly a decade later, Kibwe Tavares, Daniel Emmerson and I are about to start production, immersing ourselves in a dystopian London that interrogates what ‘care’ means, at home and as a society, and the dangers in our future if we stay indifferent to everything around us,” he continued.
“I feel blessed and honoured that my first co-writing film credit is with this inspiring group of creatives, and with the support of Film 4 and Netflix. All of us are excited to watch Kibwe’s incredible, cinematic, electric vision come to life, and to create a moment that audiences want to take with them.”
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.
He continued: “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.”
Fiona Lamptey, director of U.K. features at Netflix said that she “couldn’t be happier” to offer a home to The Kitchen, calling the film “ambitious” and “timely”.
Of Tavares and Kaluuya, Lamptey added: “The Kitchen will showcase the great vision [Tavares] has as a filmmaker, bringing the exciting world-building and textured nuances from Daniel Kaluuya’s debut feature script to our screens.”
The Kitchen will premiere on Netflix globally in 2023.