Dev Patel is returning to screens later this year with his directorial debut titled Monkey Man. Inspired by the legend of Hindu deity, Lord Hanuman who embodies strength and courage, the action thriller stars Patel as Kid – an anonymous young man who makes a living from wearing a gorilla mask in an underground fight club every night, where he's then beaten by popular fighters for cash.
Universal Pictures released the movie's first-look trailer over the weekend, in which we see Patel's character in action. He navigates bloody fight scenes and thrilling chase sequences, but also with more emotional, tender moments featuring cultural references linked to family and Hindu mythology. As the action unfolds, audiences hear the iconic Jay Z and Panjabi MC track, Mundian To Bach Ke blasting in the background.
Teasing the direction of the plot, Universal Pictures states in its press release that "after years of suppressed rage, Kid discovers a way to infiltrate the enclave of the city’s sinister elite.
"As his childhood trauma boils over, his mysteriously scarred hands unleash an explosive campaign of retribution to settle the score with the men who took everything from him."
Indian actor Sobhita Dhulipala makes her Hollywood debut in this movie, alongside an international cast including Sharlto Copley (District 9), Pitobash (Million Dollar Arm), Vipin Sharma (Hotel Mumbai), Ashwini Kalsekar (Ek Tha Hero), Adithi Kalkunte (Hotel Mumbai), Sikandar Kher (Aarya) and Makarand Deshpande (RRR).
This monumental career move for Patel comes after starring in several movies linked to India, including Slumdog Millionaire, Hotel Mumbai and Lion, for which he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
Well-known industry names throwing their support behind the project include producers Jomon Thomas (Hotel Mumbai, The Man Who Knew Infinity), Jordan Peele (Nope, Get Out), Win Rosenfeld (Candyman, Hunters series), Ian Cooper (Nope, Us), Basil Iwanyk (John Wick franchise, Sicario films), Erica Lee (John Wick franchise, Silent Night), Christine Haebler (Shut In, Bones of Crows) and Anjay Nagpal (executive producer of Bombshell, Greyhound). Serving as executive producers are Jonathan Fuhrman, Natalya Pavchinskya, Aaron L. Gilbert, Andria Spring, Alison-Jane Roney and Steven Thibault.
With just over two months to go until the film hits the big screen, we can only expect more sneak peeks and promo to gradually drop in coming weeks. Fans are encouraged to use the hashtag, #MonkeyManMovie in social media conversation about the exciting upcoming release.
Monkey Man releases in Australian cinemas on April 4 and in the US on April 5. Watch the trailer below.