The Oscar-nominated actor will play the lead in the revenge thriller alongside Sobhita Dhulipala and Sharlto Copley.
Netflix has acquired worldwide rights, with some exclusions, for Dev Patel’s directorial debut Monkey Man in a $30m deal.
The rights agreement excludes Spain, Latin America, Iceland, Former Yugoslavia, Poland, Russia and Baltic States, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Pan-Asian PTV and China, where there are pre-existing deals.
Indian actress Sobhita Dhulipala, known for her role in the Amazon series Made in Heaven, has been cast in the film, along with South African actor Sharlto Copley, who starred in the acclaimed 2009 film District 9.
In Monkey Man, Patel plays an unlikely hero who emerges from prison to take on a world filled with corporate greed, to seek revenge on people who took everything from him a few years prior.
Patel also wrote the script with Paul Angunawela and John Collee. The film is a co-production between BRON Studios (Pieces of a Woman) and Thunder Road Pictures, in association with Creative Wealth Media (Candyman).
It is produced by Patel, Thunder Road’s Basil Iwanyk and Erica Lee, Jomon Thomas, Samarth Sahni, Christine Haebler and Anjay Nagpal. Executive producers include Thunder Road’s Jonathan Fuhrman, BRON’s Aaron L. Gilbert, Creative Wealth’s Jason Cloth, BRON’s Steven Thibault and Natalya Pavchinskaya.
Speaking about the deal, Dev Patel said: “I’m so thrilled to be partnering with Netflix on this adventure. I hope this will be a fresh addition to the genre at a time in this industry where my story can become our story. Shooting a film during a pandemic has been quite challenging, to say the least, but the opportunity to reimagine stories from my childhood and infuse them with my love of action cinema has been an absolute joy. Big love to Basil Iwanyk and Erica Lee for championing us from the very beginning and Aaron Gilbert and the team at BRON for giving an unproven filmmaker like myself a voice.”
Filming has just wrapped up in Indonesia, where production was moved owing to coronavirus restrictions in India.
Netflix will release the film in 2022.