Netflix Passing on Dev Patel’s ‘Monkey Man’ Leaves Joe Russo Questioning the Decision-Making for the Film

Published 04/08/2024, 12:38 AM EDT

In the space of making original content, Netflix knows no leaps and bounds with a plethora of productions spread over various genres for consumption. Furthermore, in its roster of action-thrillers, the streamer has green-lit and rejoices in the success of original franchises like Chris Hemsworth’s Extraction series. Yet, it passed on the opportunity to flag off one recent release, taking film critics by awe, Monkey Man starring Dev Patel, which has baffled the likes of Joe Russo.

The film-writer who wrote The Inheritance for the streaming giant expressed his displeasure in a post on X, formerly Twitter, while lending forth his review.

Joe Russo finds it hard to believe that Netflix sold off Monkey Man


Article continues below this ad

The directorial debut of Dev Patel, Monkey Man, stands as his love child, with film-making following a plot with a gripping narrative. The R-rated thriller, released on April 5, made waves among critics described as an “audacious effort” and “action and sociopolitical commentary with equal aplomb” by Rotten Tomatoes where it sits with an 87% critical score at this point. In his post on X, BloodList writer Joe Russo pitched the movie as “cool AF” while questioning “why Netflix would sit on and then sell (it) off”.

In 2021, Netflix acquired the worldwide rights for Monkey Man for $30 million. However, it held on to the rights without letting it air on its platform before selling the movie to Universal Pictures in March 2024 for $10 million. While a bevy of reasons from political undertones to creative decisions have found themselves attested in the streamer’s favor, critics still stand baffled at its move to pass on such a good movie while it continues to embark on acquiring other action ventures.


Netflix Chief Ted Sarandos Affirms: Human Filmmakers Here To Stay Despite AI Advancements

In the meantime, the movie has found breakthrough acclaim, especially after considering its budget and the hurdle in its making.

How Dev Patel pieced Monkey Man together during the pandemic


Article continues below this ad

Dev Patel described Monkey Man as “the most demanding project of his career” during his recent appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. The British actor described how the cast and crew braved the onslaught of the pandemic and filmed in a bubble on an Indonesian island. The Slumdog Millionaire actor even broke his hand during filming, but decided to continue going.

Attaching a screw to his hand as an emergency procedure, Patel went ahead with his directorial debut, which at times even involved using mobile phones and action cameras. Despite financial and practical struggles, Jordan Peele’s backing and the director-actor’s dedication now have the flick soaring, making back its budget with a gross of $10.1 million within the first three days of release.


Article continues below this ad

Series Mania Festival 2024: Netflix Bags 2 European Thrillers Including an Isabelle Adjani Project in France

What are your thoughts on Joe Russo’s comments regarding Netflix selling off Monkey Man? Let us know in the comments below.



Imteshal Karim

990 articles

Imteshal Karim is a Hollywood News writer at Netflix Junkie with over 700+ articles under his belt. His love for MCU and DCU superheroes see him decode the many Easter eggs and potential storylines within his articles. Imteshal’s penchant for research and latest updates is present in his extensive coverage of entities like Ryan Reynolds and his Deadpool franchise.

Edited By: Itti Mahajan