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Monkey Man: 6 lesser-known facts about Dev Patel’s action thriller

Dev Patel plays the lead in this film, which is being described by some as “John Wick in Mumbai”.

Monkey Man: 6 lesser-known facts about Dev Patel’s action thriller

Now You Know

Last Updated: 12.18 AM, Apr 24, 2024


British-Indian actor Dev Patel makes his directorial debut in the action thriller Monkey Man. Patel, who is best known for films such as Hotel Mumbai, The Green Knight, Lion, and the multiple-Oscar winner Slumdog Millionaire, plays the lead in this film, which is being described by some as “John Wick in Mumbai”. The film garnered praise from critics when it premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival, and some even went on to say that it is an ambitious action film with the perfect blend of socio-political commentary. Sharlto Copley, Pitobash Tripathy, Vipin Sharma, Sikandar Kher, Adithi Kalkunte, Sobhita Dhulipala, and Zakir Hussain among others play important supporting roles in Monkey Man. We have curated six lesser-known facts about Monkey Man for today's Now You Know podcast.

  1. Unlike some of the major international action releases, Monkey Man was made with a relatively modest budget of $10 million. However, due to budget reductions, several scenes were shot using GoPros and iPhones. Now that’s a jugaad indie filmmakers have been resorting to quite frequently in recent times.
  2. It has become a common practice for lead action stars to take up martial arts training in order to prepare for their roles. Monkey Man lead star Dev Patel was already a 1st dan black belt in Taekwondo. In fact, the actor began Taekwondo training at a very young age when he was only 10 and went on to earn his 1st dan black belt in March 2006 when he was just 16.
  3. In an interview with MTV UK, Patel revealed that he took inspiration from his fondness for Bruce Lee films such as Enter the Dragon while working on Monkey Man. He also revealed that the iconic Bruce Lee film inspired him to become an actor.
  4. As in the case with most actors who are committed to performing their own stunts for their films, Dev Patel suffered various injuries while shooting this film, including a fractured hand, two broken toes, a torn shoulder, and an eye infection. In fact, Patel broke his hand while filming for the production’s very first action scene. Now that’s going through a world of hurt to keep things authentic. Tom Cruise, are you listening?
  5. Did you know that Monkey Man was initially slated for a direct-to-streaming release on Netflix? But as it turns out, Netflix was reportedly concerned about how Indian audiences would react to some of the politically volatile social commentary incorporated in the film. Fortunately for Dev Patel and the makers, the film caught the attention of Jordan Peele, who believed it warranted a theatrical debut and decided to back it. Peele acquired the rights of the film from Netflix through his production company, Monkeypaw Productions, which has a distribution agreement with Universal Pictures.
  6. Monkey Man was originally scheduled to commence filming in India in early 2020, however, production was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Filming was eventually relocated to Batam, Indonesia in early 2021.
  • Written by Ryan Gomez
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