Dev Patel calls his action picture ‘Monkey Man’ “an anthem of representation”

Written by on May 9, 2024

Universal Pictures

On the red carpet at the recent TIME100 Gala in New York City, one of the list’s honorees, actor and now director Dev Patel, talked about his new action picture Monkey Man

Co-produced by Oscar winner Jordan Peele, the movie stars the Slumdog Millionaire vet as an underground fight club combatant who becomes a one-man army of retribution against the elites who took everything from him.

Made for around $10 million, the movie has grossed more than triple that worldwide since its release on April 5. 

Regardless of the box office take, Patel tells ABC Audio that the movie is already a personal triumph. “I’m really proud that it exists and that it got a theatrical release. And we were at the Mann Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles,” he says, referring to the famous venue now officially called the TCL Chinese Theatre.

He adds, “[It’s] like the Mecca of Hollywood, with … a predominantly brown cast,” calling that development huge for representation.

He describes his movie as “an anthem of representation at its core.”

“We made this film in the height of the pandemic in Indonesia on a small island,” Dev says, adding that Monkey Man “really enjoys the art of martial arts and revenge cinema, but it also underneath … the physical punches, it has some emotional and political punches, too.”  

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