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New action movie Monkey Man was "dead in the water in a certain way" before Get Out's Jordan Peele came on-board

 Jordan Peele talks Monkey Man.
Jordan Peele talks Monkey Man.

Dev Patel’s gritty, gory revenge thriller Monkey Man is soon releasing in cinemas, and is set to unleash a full sensory assault on audiences. But it wasn’t always destined for a theatrical release.

The film marks Patel’s debut as a director and he also stars in the film as Kid, a man hellbent on violent revenge against the unjustly, corrupt powers in a fictional Indian city. At an earlier point, Monkey Man was destined for a streaming release, though Get Out director Jordan Peele later became involved as a producer via his company Monkeypaw Productions - and now the film is now getting a global theatrical release.

When asked about the change in the release plans by GamesRadar+ and the Inside Total Film podcast, Peele responds, “Well, it may have been sort of dead in the water in a certain way. Dev came to us with the film…”

“It wasn’t a streaming film,” cuts in Patel. “It was kind of like a dead, stagnant pond.”

“A stagnant pond,” continues Peele. “He came in, and showed it to us. We instantly saw exactly what he was doing. It was very clear - and it was very clear that he had been on a very long and difficult journey with the film. I think maybe he just didn’t realize how unbelievably awesome it was.

“And when we got into the edit together, he made, I think some decisions that really spoke and emphasized this idea that it’s going to be a theatrical release. There’s pieces of music that the whole audience’s head is going to be bobbing to, you know, and this kind of thing. The work he did with the sound, you know, to make a dynamic soundscape, is very theatrically forward.”

Dev Patel in Monkey Man
Dev Patel in Monkey Man

Although Get Out and Nope director Peele became involved in the post-production stage after the film had been shot, there was still room to have an influence at that point in time. “Everybody in the process has influence on the project,” explains Peele, “and it’s Dev’s responsibility to choose what to take from who. As a producer, when I’m talking to Dev, I like to talk to Dev as giving my advice, but not as a producer, just as a human being, telling him how my experience of watching what he puts forward is, just as an audience member.

"That’s all I can ultimately expect, is that he hears me as an audience member, more than anything else.”

Monkey Man opens in UK and US theaters on 5 April. For more from Patel and Peele, check out the upcoming episode of the Inside Total Film podcast that drops later this week.