Few directors in the British film industry have shot to fame quite like Ben Wheatley. Having completed his directorial debut Down Terrace in a mere nine days, the idiosyncratic filmmaker continued his streak a year later with Kill List, followed by 2012’s jet-black comedy Sightseers, before releasing last year’s visceral A Field In England.
Now, for his latest feature film, Free Fire, Wheatley is upping the ante and bringing his eclectic style of filmmaking across the pond. In doing so, the director has also rounded up an impressive cast for the ‘70s-inspired crime drama, including Luke Evans, Olivia Wilde, Cillian Murphy, Armie Hammer and Michael Smiley — who has collaborated with Wheatley on three separate occasions.
Steeped in the rich lore of past hard-boiled movies, Wheatley spoke briefly about his inspiration for Free Fire.
“The idea for Free Fire came from my love of hard-boiled crime movies; from The Asphalt Jungle, The Big Sleep, The Killing and The Big Combo through The Driver, Le Samourai and The French Connection, to the modern cycle of Goodfellas, Casino, Hard Boiled and Reservoir Dogs.
“Free Fire will take you and stick you in the middle of the action. I want the film to have the stylish, no-nonsense feel that you get in Peckinpah’s The Getaway. It’s a modern ‘70s movie. Muscular, tough and spare.”
Taking place in 1978, Free Fire will be set primarily in Boston, where a woman named Justine (Wilde, we assume) finds herself in a spot of bother after trying to broker a deal between two Irishmen (Murphy and Smiley) and a gang of outlaws led by Evans and Hammer. As you’d imagine, things don’t go quite so according to plan and a “heart-stopping game of survival” soon begins to play out.
Production on Free Fire is set to get underway in spring, 2015. Until then, you can share your thoughts on Wheatley’s latest project in the comments section below.