With Ben Wheatley’s black comedy arriving in U.S. theaters tomorrow “Sightseers,” Drafthouse Films has announced it has picked up the North American rights to the British director’s newest film, “A Field in England.” Billed as a “psychedelic trip into magic and madness,” the horror film is Wheatley’s fourth, and follows a group of soldiers during the English Civil War of the 17th century who are captured by an alchemist and led to a giant mushroom field to assist in his search for treasure he believes is hidden there. Nightmarishly hallucinatory things then occur. The film stars Reece Shearsmith (“The League Of Gentlemen”) and Michael Smiley (“Kill List”,) and features Julian Barrett (“The Mighty Boosh”) in a small role.
Drafthouse is planning a theatrical and VOD release for the film in 2013.
“When we world-premiered Ben’s debut feature ‘Down Terrace’ at Fantastic Fest in 2009, he deservedly won top prize, the AMD Next Wave award. We knew we were witnessing the debut of a major talent.” said Drafthouse’s Tim League in the announcement. “Ben represents the ideal filmmaker we love to support at Drafthouse Films and fully embodies our unique brand – a visionary who compounds genre themes and artfully unusual sensibilities. We are incredibly honored to be working with him to release ‘A Field In England.””
“I’m very excited to be working with Drafthouse on ‘A Field in England,'” Wheatley added. “They are a great company who have released some groundbreaking films over the last few years. I went to Fantastic Fest in 2009 wanting to visit a cinema I’d read about for years (and to buy up as many Mondo posters as I was allowed to take on the plane), I came away with the start of a career. Drafthouse is a name that will always be special to me and I’m really happy to be working side by side with them.”
Wheatley’s next feature, the big-budgeted sci-fi/action epic “Freak Shift,” is currently in pre-production. The deal for “A Field in England” was negotiated by Tim League and James Emanuel Shapiro on behalf of Drafthouse Films and Andy Starke of Rook Films with Anna Higgs of Film4.