EXCLUSIVE: Alicia Vikander is in talks to star in Ben Wheatley’s hotly anticipated project Freakshift, an all-guns-blazing action thriller about a band of misfits who hunt down and kill nocturnal underground monsters.
Should the deal make, the much-in-demand Vikander would play the lead female protagonist in the cops-vs.-monsters tale. I’m hearing the project is eyeing an August start date, which would fit in with Vikander’s schedule as she’s due to wrap Tomb Raider in early summer.
This is an exciting pairing of a hot European actress with one of the UK’s most sought-after directors. Wheatley’s white-hot Free Fire is getting rave reviews in advance of its UK release at the end of this month, and it’s set to bow in the U.S. on April 21 via A24. That comic shootout stars Brie Larson, Sam Riley, Sharlto Copley, Armie Hammer, Cillian Murphy and Jack Reynor.
Freakshift looks set to be even more badass and more ambitious, with Wheatley directing from script he co-wrote with writing partner Amy Jump. Wheatley’s longtime producer Andrew Starke produces via their Rook Films banner. IMR is handling international rights to the title, with Riverstone Pictures and Film4 financing.
Wheatley’s career has gone from strength to strength since his 2009 Brit gangster breakout Down Terrace. Since then, he’s helmed cult chiller Kill List, horror comedy Sightseers, low-budget A Field in England, an adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s High Rise as well as Free Fire.
Vikander is playing the coveted role of Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider reboot from MGM and GK Films. The actress won an Oscar for her supporting turn as Gerda Wegener in The Danish Girl and starred in blockbuster Jason Bourne for Universal. She’s got two pics in post: Wim Wenders’ romantic thriller Submergence with James McAvoy and Euphoria, with Eva Green, about two sisters who meet up after many years apart and the profound journey that they undertake together.
Vikander is repped by Tavistock Wood in the UK and UTA in the U.S. Wheatley is repped by Independent Talent Group in the UK and WME in the U.S.