Netflix has acquired worldwide rights, with some exclusions, for “The Personal History of David Copperfield” star Dev Patel’s directorial debut “Monkey Man.” The streamer is thought to have paid around $30 million for the film.
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.
In the India-set film, Patel plays an unlikely hero who emerges from prison to take on a world enmeshed in corporate greed and eroding spiritual values, seeking revenge from those who took everything from him many years ago. The script is by Patel, Paul Angunawela (“Keith Lemon: The Film”), and John Collee, who co-wrote “Hotel Mumbai,” which also starred Patel.
The cast also includes Sharlto Copley (“Ted K”) and Sobhita Dhulipala (“Ghost Stories”).
The film is a co-production between BRON Studios (“Pieces of a Woman”) and Thunder Road Pictures (the John Wick franchise), 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.
Endeavor Content brokered the deal and handled international sales.
“I’m so thrilled to be partnering with Netflix on this adventure,” said Patel. “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.”
Netflix will release the film in 2022.
Patel, an Oscar-nominee for “Lion,” next stars in A24’s “The Green Knight,” which will be released in July 2021.
Deadline was first to report the news.