Dev Patel thought he would have to give up on Monkey Man dream ‘many times’

Dev Patel thanked Jordan Peele for “saving” his movie “from oblivion”.

Dev Patel thought he would have to “say goodbye” to his dream of releasing his directorial debut Monkey Man “many times”.

In the upcoming movie, which he also produced and co-wrote, the British actor plays a young man who exacts revenge on those responsible for the death of his mother.

Filming wrapped on Monkey Man in 2021 and it was due to be released on Netflix in 2022. However, Get Out director Jordan Peele saw the film and decided it needed a theatrical release so he acquired it from the streamer and helped bring it to cinemas via his distribution deal with Universal.

Before a screening of the film in London on Monday night, Patel thanked Peele for “saving” his movie.

“I love this man, he saved us from oblivion,” he told the audience. “I’m very grateful. There were many times I thought I was going to say goodbye to this dream and these guys swooped in. Universal, huge thank you for making this dream come true.”

Reflecting on the film’s tumultuous journey to the big screen, the Skins star added, “This film, it’s been my best friend for a long time, it’s been my worst enemy, it’s been that little f**king gremlin sitting on my shoulder, teasing me. It’s been my greatest teacher.”

The Slumdog Millionaire actor then pointed out his grandfather in the audience and revealed he told him the story of Hanuman, the Hindu monkey god, which inspires the film.

“My dad had this chain around his neck with this little emblem on it of this monkey holding up a mountain with one hand and I was always enraptured by it,” he shared. “I would ask my dad, ‘What does that mean?’ And he’d be like, ‘Wait until your grandfather comes back from Kenya and he’ll tell you the story better than anyone.’ My grandfather has told me the most incredible stories in my little box room in Rayners Lane (in northwest London).”

Speaking directly to his grandfather, he added, “Dada, you haven’t seen this yet but this is for you.”

Monkey Man will be released in cinemas on 5 April.

© Cover Media