Ben Wheatley's Trippy Thriller A Field In England Picked Up By Drafthouse Films
One day before U.K. director Ben Wheatley’s latest dark comedy thriller Sightseers hits theaters – and four days before it gets its VOD release – Drafthouse Films is putting all kinds of faith in Wheatley. Given his success at the Alamo Drafthouse during past South by Southwest festivals, this isn’t the most surprising news of the day, but it is definitely among the most exciting – at least for genre fans.
According to a press release, Drafthouse Films has acquired the North American rights to Wheatley’s fourth feature, A Field in England, which is currently in its post-production phase. This definitely sounds like something more akin to his second film, the wildly haunting thriller Kill List, rather than Sightseers or his dark crime comedy debut Down Terrace.
A Field in England tells the story of a group of 17th century soldiers in the English Civil War. The soldiers are captured by an alchemist and then taken to a field full of magic mushrooms - where its assumed they get really fucked up and become engaged by some of their hallucinations. Films rarely pull off the “tripping balls” kind of drama that equates to real life experiences, but with a low-budget black & white aesthetic guiding him, Wheatley seems like just the right person to tell this story convincingly.
"I'm very excited to be working with Drafthouse on A Field in England,” said Wheatley. “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.”
The film stars Reece Shearsmith (The League of Gentlemen) and Michael Smiley (Kill List), with a small part to be played by Julian Barrett (The Mighty Boosh). No word on release dates, but it probably won’t be too long before it hits theaters, as Wheatley is already in pre-production for his next film, Freakshift. In an Indiewire interview he described the new title as “Hill Street Blues versus monsters” It’s a good time to be a Wheatley fan. Check out the poster for A Field in England below.
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