Ben Wheatley, the British director behind “Kill List,” “Sightseers,” and “A Field in England,” has begun filming on his first American-made project, “Free Fire,” Deadline reports. The thriller, set in Boston in the 1970s and executive produced by Martin Scorsese, features an all-star cast with indie cred—including Sharlto Copley, Armie Hammer, Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, and Wheatley regular Michael Smiley—which suggests that “Free Fire” could make a play for audiences beyond the art house without losing the critics who’ve supported Wheatley’s ferocious, painstaking past work.
In an interview with The Guardian last year, the director described “Free Fire” as an homage to “hard-boiled crime movies” from “The Big Sleep” and “The Asphalt Jungle” to “Reservoir Dogs” and “Casino”; the film stars Larson as a woman who brokers an arms deal between two Irishmen and a local gang, one that quickly goes awry. “‘Free Fire’ will take you and stick you in the middle of the action,” Wheatley told The Guardian. “I
want the film to have the stylish, no-nonsense feel that you get in
[Sam] Peckinpah’s ‘The Getaway.’ It’s a modern ’70s movie. Muscular, tough,
StudioCanal has already acquired the film for UK distribution, with Sony Pictures
Worldwide set to handle Australia/New Zealand, Latin America, and several other overseas locales. Wheatley’s “High-Rise,” starring Tom Hiddelston and Sienna Miller, is currently in post-production.