Writer-director Ben Wheatley, whose recent films “Sightseers” and “Kill List” have drawn notable praise on the festival circuit, has a new project set up with frequent partner Film4 called “A Field in England.” The “psychedelic trip into magic and madness” begins filming at the end of September.
Michael Smiley, Peter Ferdinando, Reece Shearsmith, Julian Barratt, Richard Glover and Ryan Pope star in the story of deserters from the English Civil War in 1648 who are captured by two men that force the group to help search for a hidden treasure in an overgrown mushroom field. The situation quickly deteriorates. Wheatley wrote the screenplay with Amy Jump.
Claire Jones and Andy Starke are producing the project, the first to be developed and fully financed through Film4’s talent and ideas hub Film4.0. Anna Higgs, who runs the Film4.0 program, is an executive producer. Protagonist Pictures is handling international sales.
“One of the central strands of Film4.0 is to work with directors and producers in new and agile ways, so it’s fitting that our first project should be with Ben, who is one of the industry’s most original and exciting filmmakers,” said Higgs. “‘A Field in England’ is a brilliantly compelling story that builds on Ben’s innovative work to date. I’m excited to be working with both him and Rook Films to forge new paths right across development, production and distribution.”
IFC Films picked up North American rights to Wheatley’s “Sightseers,” which had its premiere at Cannes in May.
“It’s great to be continuing the relationship with Film4 and Film4.0,” said Wheatley. “‘A Field in England’ is a project that we have been talking about for years and are very excited about making. It brings together the more psychedelic elements of ‘Kill List’ and ‘Sightseers’ and weaves in our take on historical drama.”
After “A Field in England,” Wheatley will move on to shooting his next film, “Freakshift,” in early 2013. He next has a contribution in the horror anthology “The ABCs of Death,” which will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival this month before a theatrical release in November through Magnet Releasing.