If there's one thing that "Kill List," the outstanding domestic drama/dark comedy/gangster thriller/occult horror movie from earlier this year, taught us, it's that writer/director Ben Wheatley is beyond fearless. He boldly mixes genres and styles and comes up with something that is wholly unique and seemingly effortless. And this streak will continue, as it's just been announced that his next film will be a psychedelic U.K.-set Civil War movie called "A Field in England." It will begin shooting next month and will undoubtedly be really, really weird.
According to an announcement on the Film4 website (the film will be the first to be developed and financed through Film4's "talent and ideas hub" Film 4.0), the project will star Michael Smiley ("Kill List"), Peter Ferdinando, Reece Shearsmith ("The League of Gentlemen"), Julian Barratt ("The Mighty Boosh"), Richard Clover (Wheatley's "Sightseers," which is about to screen in Toronto), and Ryan Pope.
The official synopsis has the film set in 1648, when "a small group of deserters flee from a raging battle through an overgrown field." That's where they come across Smiley, who plays an alchemist who forces the group to help him find buried gold he believes to be hidden within the field. The soldiers then eat mushrooms and things really go to hell, as they realize that it might not be good in them thar hills they're actually looking for. The announcement describes it as "a psychedelic trip into magic and madness."
Co-written by Wheatley regular collaborator Amy Jump (she also worked on "Kill List" and "Sightseers") and produced by Claire Jones and Andy Starke, the film will start shooting at the end of September, which puts its production ahead of Wheatley's previously announced monster movie "Freakshift." "Freakshift," which will also be produced by Film4, will start shooting in "early 2013" according to the release. We can't wait for that one, either.
Wheatley said in the announcement, " '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.” In other words: it's a Ben Wheatley film! Sign us up!
The next Wheatley joint, "Sightseers," opens in England at the end of November and will come to U.S. theaters via IFC Films.