Monkey Man | Dev Patel credits Jordan Peele for getting his film into cinemas

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Jordan Peele stepped in and helped give Dev Patel’s directorial debut Monkey Man a wide theatrical release, it seems. More here.

Dev Patel’s directorial debut Monkey Man is now out in cinemas. (You can catch our review right here.) Given that it was only made for a reported $10m, the film should enjoy at least some financial success, given that it’s releasing as a refreshing slice of counter-programming amid some big, CGI-filled blockbusters.

However, at one point the film’s success was far from assured. Netflix originally acquired the movie for $30m before (according to Deadline), ‘the streamer, after buying the movie, found it too gritty for the Indian market, and quietly shopped it around.’

Losing the distribution of a giant streaming platform like Netflix may have felt like a blow to the film’s fortunes, but that’s when Get Out filmmaker (and head of production company, Monkeypaw Productions), Jordan Peele stepped in.

Read more: Monkey Man review | Dev Patel’s directorial debut is a flawed passion project

According to Patel, Peele saw (and appreciated) what the film was trying to do and used his relationship with Universal Pictures to get the film a wide theatrical release. As Patel told Deadline: “He saw the film; Jordan saw me as a filmmaker, someone broken out, like what he did with his amazing comedy show and became this filmmaker. He understood the strength of using genre to talk about more interesting motif things, societal issues, using it as a trojan horse.”

The film was eventually picked up by Universal for a reported $10m and is on track to exceed that in its opening weekend, capping off what will hopefully be a success story for all involved.

We’ve seen Peele using his clout to back other emerging filmmakers before, and we’re sure it’s something we’ll see again in the future. Kudos to him and to Patel for getting this one over the line, no matter how many difficulties he might have encountered. Assorted trials included shooting during a pandemic and breaking his hand while directing and starring in an action film.

Monkey Man is in cinemas now.

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