Dev Patel Broke His Hand on the First Day of Shooting MONKEY MAN and Kept Shooting — GeekTyrant

The production for Dev Patels upcoming action film Monkey Man was plagued with all kinds of issues. It’s like the world came crashing down around Patel as he directed and starred in the film, but the dude just kept going! He was not going to give up on this project!

During a recent interview on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Patel revealed that he broke his hand on the first day of shooting, and he kept going!

Patel even kept his injury a secret from the doctor because had he told him, it would have resulted in him wearing a cast, leading to eventual reshoots that they couldn’t afford.

Patel explained: “Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. In the first action scene, I’m basically a crash-test dummy- my co-star is using my face to break every piece of porcelain in this bathroom and my hand- I heard it snap. And I was like, ‘This is not good.’ And I said, ‘You’ve got 450 people on an island, and if I go down, the film goes down.” 

He continued: “And you know, we had a purpose, during a really prickly time in history. And I told my producer, ‘Don’t say anything. Let’s just keep filming.’  By the end of the day, my hand was like an elephant’s foot.”

Patel went on to say that they were fortunate enough to secure a private aircraft that could transport them to Jakarta for immediate medical attention. He ended up getting a screw in his pinky finger, which held up during all of the intense action sequences that were left to shoot in the movie.

Damn, Patel! Hell or high water, the director was going to finish his freakin’ movie!

Patel previously talked about all of the issues that he faced while making the movie, such as how the funding was nearly pulled, they lost their locations, their camera’s broke, and at one point it was “basically dead.”

Patel shared: “I begged our financier not to shut us down a few weeks before principal photography. We were meant to shoot in India then COVID hit. I lost my initial production designer and [cinematographer] and the film was basically dead, then we pivoted and went to a tiny island in Indonesia where we could create a bubble in an empty hotel for the whole crew of nearly 500 people. It was a grueling nine months of absolute joy and utter chaos.”

He continued: “All of the locations we prepped for months at — we lost day of — so we had to adapt last minute. The borders closed also, so I couldn’t bring in lots of supporting characters. I ended up having to put every tailor, lighting guy, accountant etc. in front of the camera.

“Speaking of cameras, most of our equipment broke and we couldn’t fly in new stuff so we literally shot stuff on my mobile phone, go pros — when a crane broke we ended [up] creating this camera rig from rope which I termed the ‘pendulum cam,’ which swings over a large crowd of people then detaches and the operators run through the crowd whilst it was rolling.”

Patel went on to say that there were days when his production designer said the production “literally didn’t have any money” to finish certain sets. He also revealed that “One of our producers ran his personal credit card to buy the glass to cover the table tops” in one of the big main action scenes.

Patel also shared how they had to make use of what little they had: “Speaking of tables, we only had three or four break away tables so once I would perform a huge bulk of stunts I would scream CUT and then immediately all of us would get on our hands and knees looking for all of the broken pieces of wood to glue the tables back together for the next shot. In a very long nutshell, every obstacle provided us with a new opportunity to innovate. BOOM!”

The story is “Inspired by the legend of Hanuman, an icon embodying strength and courage, Monkey Man stars Patel as Kid, an anonymous young man who ekes out a meager living in an underground fight club where, night after night, wearing a gorilla mask, he is beaten bloody by more popular fighters for cash.

“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.”

Jordan Peele produced the project, and it was originally supposed to be released on Netflix, but the film was so damn amazing that Peele pushed for the film to get a full-on theatrical release because it’s a movie that was meant to be experienced on the big screen.

The description for the film says, “Patel achieves an astonishing, tour-de-force feature directing debut with an action thriller about one man’s quest for vengeance against the corrupt leaders who murdered his mother and continue to systemically victimize the poor and powerless.”

Patel also developed the original story and wrote the screenplay with Paul Angunawela and John Collee (Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World).

The movie is said to be packed with thrilling and spectacular fight and chase scenes, and the film’s international cast includes Sharlto Copley (District 9), Sobhita Dhulipala (Made in Heaven), Pitobash (Million Dollar Arm), Vipin Sharma (Hotel Mumbai), Ashwini Kalsekar (Ek Tha Hero), Adithi Kalkunte (Hotel Mumbai), Sikandar Kher (Aarya) and Makarand Deshpande (RRR).

Monkey Man is produced by Dev Patel, 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.

Monkey Man will be released only in theaters on April 5, 2024.

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