First-time director Dev Patel gets standing ovation for new movie Monkey Man

The film will be released in cinemas in April

AUSTIN, TEXAS - MARCH 11: Dev Patel speaks on stage as Universal Pictures presents the SXSW premiere of
Dev Patel speaks on stage at the SXSW premiere of Monkey Man, where he later received a standing ovation. (Getty Images)

Dev Patel was left in tears as he received a standing ovation for his directorial debut Monkey Man at SXSW on Monday, 11 March.

The actor has turned his sights to directing with the action thriller, which sees him play a man on the quest for vengeance against the people who murdered his mother and are still terrorising the poor. Patel not only directs and stars in the production, he also wrote the script and produced it.

Monkey Man had its premiere at SXSW and footage shared by Variety during the credits show that the whole room was electrified after seeing the movie, giving the actor a rare standing ovation at the festival. Per Deadline, it is not often that a SXSW audience will do so.

It was clear that the recognition and excitement moved Patel, who could be seen wiping away tears and at one point turned from the audience towards the screen and gather himself.

Speaking before the film screening, Patel said he put his heart and soul into the movie because of how much it meant for him to make it. The actor admitted it was a long journey to make it, sharing: "People thought I went crazy. I’ve been away for a while. I was reading all these things on the internet ‘Where Are They Now?’ ‘What Happened to Him?'

Read more: Dev Patel 'so proud' of 'Skins' co-stars and their Hollywood success

"I’m not really fit for public consumption right now, I’ve been in a dark room, the paint is literally not dry on this thing. I did a little film where I was just as awkward as I am now –it’s called Slumdog Millionaire. That film was discarded because people underestimated you guys, basically.

"And the same thing happened here. I put everything into this, I shot this film in the biggest slum in India, Covid hit, and the film went down. Everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong. And then Jordan came along in the end, he picked up from the ground, he brushed the dust off and put it on the mantelpiece."

Monkey Man (Universal)
Dev Patel directed, wrote and starred in Monkey Man, an action thriller about one man's quest for revenge against the people who killed his mother. (Universal)

Patel was referencing Jordan Peele, who came in as executive producer on the production and acquired it from Netflix in order to help launch the film in cinemas with Universal.

Read more: Everything we know about Jordan Peele’s new film

The Get Out director introduced the movie at SXSW, saying: "This is a film that simply demands to be seen in a [cinema] with a huge rockstar audience.

"This is a movie is the exact type of movie we love at Monkeypaw Productions, it's a movie that proves films can be all things — you can have a movie that tells an amazing story, that has meaning, that has depth, and you can still kick a bunch of a***s along the way."

Monkey Man premieres in cinemas on Friday, 5 April.

Watch the trailer for Monkey Man: