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SYFY WIRE Monkey Man

Monkey Man: Learn the Title's Origin in New Featurette for Dev Patel's "Violent Ballet"

Dev Patel and producer Jomon Thomas break down the wild road to Monkey Man.

By Matthew Jackson

In just one week, Dev Patel's much-anticipated directorial debut, Monkey Man, is set to hit theaters everywhere. Now, Patel and producer Jomon Thomas are breaking down the film's origins in a new featurette.

For Patel, who also stars in and co-wrote the film, Monkey Man stems from a lot of things. It is, perhaps most importantly, an action film driven by his love of the genre, packed with references and homages to everything from Quentin Tarantino to Korean revenge cinema. But it's also deeply inspired by Patel's own upbringing in a Hindu Indian family, which explains the title of the film.

The "Monkey Man" of the title is a reference to Hanuman, a hero in Hindu mythology, a god whose body is a hybrid of monkey and man. According to Thomas, Patel's grandfather told him the story of Hanuman, and how he persevered in his fight against evil, when Patel was just a boy, setting the legend in the actor's head from a very early age. 

For More on Moneky Man:
Dev Patel is a Beast in Second Monkey Man Trailer

Dev Patel Broke His Hand While Filming Monkey Man, and Just Kept Fighting
Dev Patel's Lights a Fuse of Revenge in Super Bowl Trailer for Monkey Man

Watch the New Featurette for Dev Patel's Monkey Man

"This is a revenge film about faith," Patel says in the featurette above. "I wanted to infuse it with culture and social resonance. It becomes this sort of violent ballet that explodes into absolute mayhem."

Of course, Hanuman's legend didn't just provide a thematic backbone for the film's story. As Patel and company kept working, the Hindu god's sense of determination and tireless fighting became a major motivator, particularly as Patel went through breaking both one hand and one foot while shooting the film's action sequences.

"There's a quote in the film. It goes 'The pain will leave you once it's finished teaching you,'" Patel said. "That became one of the core tenets that encapsulated the whole film."

Now, all the pain is paying off. Monkey Man debuted to a standing ovation at SXSW earlier in March, where it eventually won the festival's Audience Award and stacked up dozens of glowing reviews from critics. Now, all that's left is for everyone to see for themselves what Patel's been working so hard on. 

Monkey Man is in theaters April 5. Get tickets at Fandango.