Dev Patel’s Directorial Debut ‘Monkey Man’ Gets Theatrical Push From Jordan Peele, Universal

The feature film, originally set for Netflix, also released its first trailer Friday

Dev Patel’s directorial debut, “Monkey Man,” has received an April release date from Universal. The move marks a studio shift for the Patel film, which was initially sold to Netflix in 2021 for $30 million.

The movie is inspired by the legend of the Hindu god Hanuman. Patel stars as Kid, a young man who is surviving by living in an underground fight club and, while wearing a gorilla mask, is beaten by popular fighters for cash. With his rage boiling over, plus a traumatic childhood, the Kid goes out on a journey of retribution against those who wronged him.

The first trailer for “Monkey Man” also dropped, showcasing the film in what looks like a strong combination of “John Wick” and James Bond. While Peele and Monkeypaw are well-known for horror, the trailer looks far more action-oriented.

Patel directs the film from his original story. The screenplay is cowritten with Paul Angunawela and John Collee. The cast includes Sharlto Copley, Sobhita Dhulipala, Pitobash, Vipin Sharma, Ashwini Kalsekar, Adithi Kalkunte, Sikandar Kher and Makarand Deshpande.

“Monkey Man” has been in development since 2018 with filming starting in 2021. It’s not clear when Universal purchased the film from Netflix.

The film is produced by Patel, Jordan Peele, Jomon Thomas, Win Rosenfeld, Ian Cooper, Basil Iwanyk, Erica Lee, Christine Haebler and Anjay Nagpal.

Universal has been on a greenlight streak over the last month, announcing Julia Garner and Christopher Abbott would be joining director Leigh Whannell’s “Wolf Man” remake. They also recently dropped the trailer for directing team Radio Silence’s horror feature “Abigail.” The studio also announced plans for a fourth Jurassic World film.

You can watch the trailer for “Monkey Man” above.

“Monkey Man” hits theaters April 5. 


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