Well this sounds exciting.
Actor Dev Patel may have fallen short of his action star posterity with a certain live-action adaptation of a Nickleodeon IP, but that hasn’t hindered his favor since breaking through nearly a decade ago with Slumdog Millionaire. Nor does that change the fact that he’s a first-dan black belt in TaeKwonDo and if he’s been keeping up the craft, that ought to make him an action star contender in his own right.
Indeed, the star of Neill Blomkamp’s Chappie and Garth Davis’ 2016 drama, Lion, is pivoting toward directing with his own debut, Monkey Man. Trade news has all but confirmed that Patel will both direct and star in the project for which Endeavor Content will be on hand at the American Film Market through next week to rep worldwide sales on and present to buyers.
As Brian Welk of The Wrap notes, Patel developed the script with S’ya Concept, which is described as “steeped in mythology but set in a vibrant modern India”. Central to the narrative is the Kid “who emerges from prison to take on a world enmeshed in corporate greed and eroding spiritual values.”
Patel co-wrote the filmnwith Paul Angunawela and upcoming Hotel Mumbai co-writer John Collee. The film is also anteing up the production muscle with Basil Iwanyk (John Wick) of Thunder Road producing next to Xeitgeist’s Joe Thomas, Samarth Sahni and Patel. Moreover, Chung Chung-Hoon who lensed Old Boy, Lady Vengeance, New World, It, The Handmaiden and Hotel Artemis, is stepping up as director of photography, while action maestro unit 87Eleven will shepherd the action design.
“‘Monkey Man’ is a vibrant, thrilling and above all entertaining story and we are excited to be teaming up with Dev, who has great creative instincts making him a natural director,” said Iwanyk in a statement.
“‘Monkey Man’ is filled with vivid characters and thrilling action scenes and Dev’s precise vision of a stylized and highly energetic genre film will appeal to audiences around the world,” said Alex Walton, EVP, International Film Sales and Distribution at Endeavor Content.
Cameras roll in Mumbai early next year. Patel is repped by WME, Magnolia, Curtis Brown Group and Jamie Feldman.