Monkey Man: Netflix buys Dev Patel’s John Wick-esque action movie

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

Monkey Man, Dev Patel, revenge-thriller, 2021, Netflix

Netflix has finalized a deal in the realm of $30M for most worldwide rights to Dev Patel's directorial debut Monkey Man. The project finds Oscar-nominee Patel playing an unlikely hero who emerges from prison to take on a world enmeshed in corporate greed and eroding spiritual values and seeking revenge from those who took everything from him years before. With filming for Monkey Man already complete, insiders describe the movie as "John Wick in Mumbai."

The film, which also stars Sharlto Copley (District 9), Sobhita Dhulipala (Psycho Raman), and Sikandar Kher (24: India), was a hot item at last week’s virtual European Film Market, where Netflix outbid outfits like Bron (Joker) and John Wick producers Thunder Road.

Dev Patel (Slumdog MillionaireLion) wrote the script with Paul Angunawela and his Hotel Mumbai collaborator John Collee. It also sounds as if the project is rooted in mysticism, seeing as it is partly inspired by the Hindu myth about the deity Hanuman who is half-man, half-monkey.

“I’m so thrilled to be partnering with Netflix on this adventure. 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,” Patel said in a statement.

Originally, filming for Monkey Man was supposed to take place in India but was moved to Indonesia when the pandemic hit. While Netflix now holds worldwide rights, the deal does exclude places like Spain, Latin America, Iceland, Former Yugoslavia, Poland, Russia & Baltic States, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Pan-Asian PTV, and China. Serving as producers on Monkey Man are Dev Patel; Thunder Road’s Basil Iwanyk and Erica Lee; Jomon Thomas; Samarth Sahni; Christine Haebler; and Anjay Nagpal. Executive producers are Thunder Road’s Jonathan Fuhrman; Bron’s Aaron L. Gilbert; Creative Wealth’s Jason Cloth; Bron’s Steven Thibault; and Natalya Pavchinskaya.

In other Dev Patel-related news, the actor's upcoming fantasy-horror film, The Green Knight, now has a July 2021 release date. Starring Patel, Alicia Vikander, and Joel Edgerton, the film presented a fantasy re-telling of the medieval story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

Source: Deadline

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.