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‘Mr. Monk’s Last Case’ Might Not Be His Last Case, Tony Shalhoub Says

April 13, 20242 Mins Read

After Monk ended its run on USA in 2009, creator Andy Breckman never stopped taking notes and coming up with movie ideas for Tony Shalhoub‘s alter-ego. But nothing ever quite worked out, recalls Breckman on a panel at Deadline’s Contenders Television — that is, until the pandemic “nudged things along for us.”

That’s when Shalhoub and his wife Brooke Adams made a four-minute film that depicted Monk during the lockdown, which helped to get the ball rolling for Mr. Monk’s Last Case: A Monk Movie. The flick, which dropped in December on Peacock, follows the San Francisco-based detective with obsessive-compulsive disorder returning to solve one last, very personal case involving his beloved stepdaughter Molly. 

“At first it sounded kind of risky,” Shalhoub said. “We wanted to raise the stakes, we did not just want to come back with episode 126. We wanted this to be more special. We wanted it to be kind of an event, for the scale to be larger.”

Revisiting the character that helped Shalhoub win four Emmys “wasn’t terrifying, but it was a bit daunting,” the actor said. “But Andy came up with this great script and there was such positive energy from Peacock. Everybody was excited to revisit it. By the time got to shooting on first day, we were revved up. It didn’t take long to fall back in.”

Along with Shalhoub, the movie features several of the series original cast including Ted Levine, Traylor Howard, Jason Gray-Stanford, Melora Hardin and Hector Elizondo. New cast members include Caitlin McGee (Home Economics) as Molly Evans and James Purefoy (Sex Education) as Rick Eden.

And good news, Monk fans: Breckman is totally game to “explore another chapter.” “This is my retirement plan,” he cracked.

Monk launched on USA in 2002 and ran for 125 episodes over eight seasons, with the series finale breaking ratings records as the most-watched cable drama at that time in 2009.

Check back Monday for the panel video.

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