John Leguizamo's The Menu Character Could've Been Played By Daniel Radcliffe

Fantastic Fest has yet again served up a fresh feast of films, with Ralph Fiennes starring in "The Menu" and winning over audiences across the board. Directed by Mark Mylod from a script by Will Tracy and Seth Reiss, "The Menu" sees Fiennes as Chef Slowik, a renowned culinary maestro who has invited a dozen disgustingly wealthy customers to a private island to enjoy an ultra-exclusive dining experience of his expertly curated tasting menu. Unfortunately for the guests, which include the likes of Nicholas Hoult, Anya Taylor-Joy, Reed Birney, Arturo Castro, Hong Chau, and more, their invitations were by design, and the Chef has some nefarious plans up his sleeve for each of them. 

One of the guests is also a washed-up movie star played by John Leguizamo, who is in attendance with his personal assistant. The movie star is hoping that he can recapture his former stardom with a new series where he travels the world to try new cuisines, despite the fact there are, like,  20 shows currently available to stream right now with that very premise. As to be expected, this has-been star comes off like a pompous jerk in his approach to the still-to-be-pitched series, but the role allows for Leguizamo to have a lot of fun.

There are countless references throughout the film to an in-universe movie that Leguizamo's character starred in that was such a massive bomb that it destroyed his career, but that role almost went to an entirely different star. Our own Jacob Hall attended a post-screening Q&A for "The Menu" at Fantastic Fest, where Mylod and producer Betsy Koch admitted that Leguizamo's character was almost played by Daniel Radcliffe. Had the team gone in that direction, Radcliffe would have played a meta-fictional version of himself, and the in-universe box office bomb would have been a reference to the very real movie "Victor Frankenstein," which saw Radcliffe as Igor.

Victor Frankenstein really happened, unfortunately

After the final "Harry Potter" movie debuted in 2011, Radcliffe took on a lot of fascinating roles to help shed his wizarding image. Films like "The Woman in Black," "Kill Your Darlings," and "Horns" were certainly anti-Potter, but 2015 saw him in his first financial and critical flop, "Victor Frankenstein." The film came from a script from nepotism baby and alleged sexual abuser Max Landis, and it currently boasts a 26% on Rotten Tomatoes. Fortunately, Radcliffe's career was not derailed by the failure of "Victor Frankenstein," taking on the role of a farting corpse in Daniels' "Swiss Army Man" the following year, solidifying his new place in a post-Potter world.

Despite the easily recognizable IP of "Frankenstein," most people have forgotten "Victor Frankenstein" even exists, focusing instead on Radcliffe's more adventurous performances like in the upcoming biopic parody about Weird Al Yankovic. Leguizamo was undoubtedly a fantastic choice for "The Menu," but it would have admittedly been a hilarious choice to see a fictional version of Daniel Radcliffe continually live down the fact he played a weirdly sexy Igor in a less-than-stellar adaptation of Mary Shelley's creation. Bonus points if they would have made him wear that atrocious wig again.

"The Menu" is set for release in theaters on November 18, 2022.