There’s no denying that Dev Patel is one of the most talented and interesting young actors working today, having built up an incredible filmography in the dozen years since making the jump from cult classic British TV series Skins to the big screen.
In fact, he made his feature film debut playing the lead role in Slumdog Millionaire, which made $378 million at the box office against a $15 million budget, before going on to win eight Academy Awards including Best Picture, which is about the best start to a cinematic career anybody could possibly imagine.
Unfortunately, he followed it up with one of the worst blockbusters of the modern era in M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender, which boasts a laughable Rotten Tomatoes score of just 5% after being torn apart by critics and fans of the source material. In a new interview to promote his latest outing in David Lowery’s medieval fantasy epic The Green Knight, Patel admitted that his experience on the infamous dud has sworn him off tackling effects-driven studio projects.
“I shouldn’t even bring it up, but do a quick IMDb search and you’ll know what it is. I didn’t really flourish in that position. I take my hat off to all those incredible actors that do Marvel movies where it’s, like, big, noisy fans and green screen and tennis balls and whatnot.”
Having scored an Oscar nod for Best Actor in Lion and given stellar turns in Hotel Mumbai, The Personal History of David Copperfield and now The Green Knight, Patel will have no doubt been fielding offers from major studios about potentially boarding a franchise.
Instead, he’s continuing to forge his own path by branching out to co-write, direct, produce and star in thriller Monkey Man for Netflix, which has previously been described as John Wick in Mumbai, and the project created plenty of buzz once the streaming service stumped up $30 million to secure the distribution rights shortly after shooting had wrapped this past March, so don’t expect to see him in anything resembling The Last Airbender anytime soon.