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At the rate director Ben Wheatley is attracting talent, his career is set to skyrocket in the next year. After working with Tom Hiddleston, Luke Evans, Siena Miller, and Jeremy Irons on his 2015 film High-Rise, and Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, and Armie Hammer on his upcoming Free Fire, Wheatley has established himself as the top upcoming director that England has to offer for international audiences. As of last week, the British director is currently pursuing Academy Award-winner Alicia Vikander to star in his next action/thriller film Freakshift.
Vikander would play the lead role in the monster-hunting film, where female cops hunt nocturnal creatures. Vikander is set to be finishing filming the reboot of Tomb Raider, and has no projects on the horizon, so the offer may be very tempting. Word is she is currently considering the project, but hasn’t committed.
Back in 2014, when Wheatley was planning on casting the film, he said that he wanted the film to be “an American sci-fi film, like Hill Street Blues with monsters and women cops”. He made the following comments in an interview with Digital Spy about what he wanted to accomplish with the film:
It’ll be an American cast, but it’s kind of an immigrant cast so they’ll be Korean, Indian, Pakistani, Irish and Polish characters. It won’t be a full-blown cast of Americans, it’ll be people who’ve gone to America to live and they’re first generation… I think the creatures are going to be a mixture of CGI and prosthetics. I think CGI is interesting but it’s too expensive and limiting in terms of what you can do shot-by-shot. Each shot will have a price tag on it and you’ll have to decide that upfront. I think there’ll be a mixture of suit-based stuff and augmented CG on top of that.
Wheatly’s Free Fire with Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, and Cillian Murphy (among others) has been making the festival rounds, after premiering at TIFF last September, and has been receiving rave reviews. The film is set in 1970s Boston where a shootout between two gangs turns into a game of survival, which is further setting his genre and style as a director of dystopian sci-fi films.
On the horizon, Wheatley is also slated to direct Hard-Boiled, which is rumored to have Tom Hiddleston starring (who previously worked with him on High-Rise). He also have been writing a film called Mega Evil Motherfuckers which will be a stop-motion animation.
After winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 2016 for her role in The Danish Girl beside Eddie Redmayne, Vikander starred alongside Matt Damon in last year’s Jason Bourne. She has two films coming out this year: Submergence with James McAvoy and Euphoria with Eva Green. Look for her as Lara Croft in Tomb Raider a year from now, in March 2018.