Dev Patel directorial debut Monkey Man acquired by Netflix
Nearly a year and a half after the project was first announced, Dev Patel’s directorial debut Monkey Man is gearing up to finally come to audiences as Netflix has acquired the action-thriller for majority worldwide distribution in a hefty $30 million deal, according to Deadline.
Initially slated for a 2019 shoot in India, the global pandemic briefly delayed production until it moved to Indonesia and recently wrapped its filming. After footage from the project debuted at last week’s virtual European Film Market, where sources described it as “John Wick in Mumbai,” the streaming platform beat out other bidders and have it set for a 2022 release date. Alongside Patel, the main cast for the film has been revealed including Sharlto Copley (District 9), Sobhita Dhulipala (Psycho Raman) and Sikandar Kher (24: India), marking a reunion between the co-writer/director/star and Copley after previously starring in Neill Blomkamp’s Chappie in 2015.
“I’m so thrilled to be partnering with Netflix on this adventure,” Patel said in a statement. “I hope this will be a fresh addition to the genre at a time in this industry where my story can become our story. Shooting a film during a pandemic has been quite challenging to say the least, but the opportunity to reimagine stories from my childhood and infuse them with my love of action cinema has been an absolute joy. Big love to Basil Iwanyk and Erica Lee for championing us from the very beginning and Aaron Gilbert and the team at Bron for giving an unproven filmmaker like myself a voice.”
The story, which is co-written by Patel, Paul Angunawela (Keith Lemmon: The Film) and John Collee (Hotel Mumbai), is steeped in a mythological, yet vibrant, modern India and follows the Kid (Patel) who emerges from prison to take on a world enmeshed in a corporate greed and eroding spiritual values.
87Eleven, the stunt company created by John Wick creators David Leitch and Chad Stahelski and involved with the Keanu Reeves-led series and the Leitch-helmed Atomic Blonde, choreographed and designed the action sequences for the film.
Endeavor Content handled the sales for the film’s rights in the international markets while Basil Iwanyk (John Wick, Sicario) producing for Thunder Road pictures and Joe Thomas (The Man Who Knew Infinity) producing for Xeitgeist alongside Samarth Sahni (Show Dogs) and Patel.
(Photo Credit: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)