Olivia Wilde Joins Ben Wheatley’s 70s-Style Action Film ‘Free Fire’

By October 24, 2014
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Writer/director Ben Wheatley continues to prove he can do just about anything. The man responsible for Kill List, Sightseers, and A Field in England – three wildly disparate films – has a new film on the horizon, and unsurprisingly, it’s in a genre he’s never tackled before: 70s-style action. And according to Variety, he already has a heck of a cast lined up to star for him.

Olivia Wilde, Luke Evans, Armie Hammer, Cillian Murphy, and frequent Wheatley collaborator Michael Smiley will star in the $10 milllion film about an arms deal gone bad. Set in Boston in 1978, a woman named Justine (Wilde) brokers a meeting in an abandoned warehouse between a local gang (led by Hammer and Evans) and two Irishmen (Murphy and Smiley) who want to buy guns from them. But when shots are fired during the deal, the survivors must fight to stay alive. Here’s what Wheatley had to say about the movie:

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.

That sounds absolutely awesome to me, and the cast is fantastic, so I can’t wait to see what he cooks up with this one.

I’ve only seen one of Wheatley’s films so far – Kill List, which scared the crap out of me – but re-reading our own Todd Gilchrist’s review of A Field in England and his subsequent interview with the filmmaker leaves me thinking that this is a guy who revels in genre-hopping, like an edgier Danny Boyle. Production gets underway in spring of 2015, so I expect Free Fire to hit theaters sometime in 2016. In the meantime, I imagine we’ll be able to see his adaptation of High Rise (starring Tom Hiddleston) sometime next year.

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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at ScreenRant.com, FirstShowing.net, MySpace.com, GeekTyrant.com, and many more sites across the web. Some of his favorite movies include The Rocketeer, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tombstone, Lucky Number Slevin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Collateral, Double Indemnity, Back to the Future and The Prestige. Follow him on Twitter: @BenPears.