Dev Patel's new action film, Monkey Man – which is now showing in UK cinemas – has received rave reviews from critics, but it didn't have the easiest journey to the big screen.


Having originally been acquired by Netflix, the film was briefly dropped by the streamer and looked destined for a small, straight-to-streaming release – until Get Out and Nope director Jordan Peele saw it and instantly decided it deserved theatrical distribution.

Peele came on board as a producer through his company Monkeypaw Productions and persuaded Universal to acquire the film, and in an exclusive interview with, he explained why he felt the film needed a big screen release.

"Well, you know, the easy answer for why this was perfect for Monkeypaw Productions is it just felt like the type of film that I would, as a younger person – or now – I would go with a bunch of my friends, and we would be really loud in the theatre," he said.

Dev Patel and Jordan Peele at the UK Special Screening of Monkey Man standing together, smiling
Dev Patel and Jordan Peele. Jed Cullen/Dave Benett/WireImage

"And that, to me, is like... that's why I love the theatre. I love a theatrical experience that brings an audience together, you're in a room with a bunch of strangers."

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He added: "And here, you're invited to all be one character, you know? In this case, it's [Patel's] character, Kid. And we can go through that journey together.

"It's uniting, and when the audience gets to cheer... it's just one of my favourite feelings in the world.”

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Patel wrote, directed and starred in the film, and explained that "it was a blessing" to watch the movie with a crowd at the SXSW Festival, where it won the Audience Award.

And Peele revealed that there were some scenes in particular that he especially enjoyed seeing audience reactions to.

"That's when you just get huge reactions," he said of the film's big action moments. "The fighting sequences... you know, it's hard for those not to emerge as favourite moments, because they are so creative, they are so immersive.

"And that's really when you get the audience going like, 'Oooooh, nooooo,' you know?"

Monkey Man is in UK cinemas from Friday 5th April 2024. Check out more of our Film coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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