Free Fire is the best film of 2017 that barely anyone has seen yet, but I have a feeling that the insane 70s action opera will break out in a big way when it opens on April 21. I saw the film at last year's Toronto International Film Festival, where it blew everyone away with its clever mix of blood-splattered shootouts and pitch black humor. Free Fire comes from Ben Wheatley, a filmmaker who has been creeping slowly into the mainstream over the last several years. After starting with some critically acclaimed arthouse hits such as Kill List and Sightseers, Wheatley got a larger budget for High-Rise, which received a mixed reaction upon release last year. He's poised to have his biggest hit yet with Free Fire (A24 is set to give it a wide release), a film that could help him become a household name in the industry. With that sort of popularity comes more interesting projects, and that sounds like it could be the case for Wheatley. He'll be tackling Freakshift next, a horror/sci-fi mashup about a group of monster hunters. With the imminent release of Free Fire, Freakshift is starting to come together and Wheatley is assembling his cast.
On Thursday, Deadline exclusively reported that Oscar-winning actress Alicia Vikander is in talks to star in Freakshift, where she would play the female lead. Vikander, who won an Oscar in 2016 for Tom Hooper's The Danish Girl, is currently filming Tomb Raider, where she'll play the iconic Lara Croft. According to Deadline, Freakshift will begin filming in late summer, right after Tomb Raider wraps production. Wheatley and Amy Jump wrote the screenplay, and I'm sure that there will be a rather contentious battle for the distribution rights. Vikander is one of the most talented actresses in Hollywood at the moment, and the idea of her teaming up with Wheatley is very exciting. With such a terrific actress, I hope Wheatley has written a strong female protagonist deserving of her talents. Freakshift sounds like a blast, and if it is anything like Free Fire, it will surely be one of the most anticipated projects of the next few years. The shootout comedy firmly put him on the map, and if he keeps tackling unique and daring projects, he'll be one of the best in the game.
Image Credits: WB/A24/IMDB