Kevin Munroe Helming War Monkeys for Dark Horse Indie - Updated!
War Monkeys? "It's kind of like if Quentin Tarantino did Gremlins." Kevin Munroe has quickly become a director to keep an eye on ever since he directed the TMNT animated movie last year. He's about to start shooting a live-action version of the comic Dylan Dog titled Dead of Night and has just setup his next project - War Monkeys. Munroe reveals some early details to ShockTillYouDrop, describing the project as "an older, meaner brother of [an] Amblin [production]. It's real horror with real scary elements. You've got real monsters here with the monkeys. But the characters are a modern day Abbott and Costello. In the same vein of Shaun of the Dead but scarier." So what the heck is War Monkeys all about?
The story follows two guys who work low-level jobs in an Area 51-like underground research facility that end up getting locked in over Christmas with an army of military-trained research monkeys. "Monkeys creep me out. They're so human-like and you never know what they're thinking. But these military-trained monkeys. For me, it's not just about the ability to carry a gun, but I love the idea of monkeys coming together to accomplish a goal," Munroe explains. The script was written by Cleve Nettles (All Over Again) and is based on a story by Chris Patton (Monarch of the Moon). The project is being produced by Dark Horse Indie and is a priority for Munroe after he finishes Dead of Night. He's currently working on a new draft with Nettles.
Munroe spoke to SciFi separately about how they were going to accomplish the effects. "What we're planning on is sort of a mix of live monkeys," he said. "One of the producers, Chris Patton, he calls me up and he says, … 'I've got a lead on a guy who can train rhesus monkeys.' … [They] like to hold prop guns and wear helmets and stuff. And so there's going to be a mix of live [and puppets]. I'm a real big fan of prosthetics, sort of puppets and stuff, and we'll probably have a little bit of CGI… But I would love to do things sort of as practical as possible with it." It will indeed be rated R (phew!) and casting announcements can be expected in the next few weeks as Munroe starts preparing pre-production for Dead of Night.
Are you kidding me?! A movie about smart monkeys with guns who fight two guys stuck in an underground research facility?! This sounds like the greatest project to ever be given the greenlight! You can be sure we'll be following this one closely! Thoughts?
Update! Apparently that casting announcement was set to hit today! Sammo Hung is in negotiations to star in War Monkeys. His co-star hasn't been announced yet. Hung is a veteran of the Hong Kong kung fu scene, with directing, acting and choreography credits for dozens of movies to his name. The update on this news arrived today courtesy of the Hollywood Reporter. Additionally credited as a producer on the project is Robert Sanchez, our friend and the webmaster of IESB. Lastly, Munroe adds one more exciting quote into the mix: "Monkeys, guns, explosions. As a genre freak, I couldn't ask for anything more."