Ahead of the theatrical release of their action/comedy Free Fire, actor Armie Hammer and director Ben Wheatley have found their next project together, in Freakshift. British filmmaker Wheatley has become a bigger name in the indie genre movie scene over the last several years, thanks to his efforts on such films as the psychological horror drama/thrillers Kill List and Sightseers, as well as dark, offbeat dramas like A Field in England and High-Rise. While Wheatley (often in collaboration with wife and partner Amy Jump) usually works on low-budget fare, Freakshift is a more expensive passion project of the filmmaker’s.
Now, with High-Rise finding a cult following and Free Fire earning good reviews on the festival circuit ahead of its domestic theatrical release, it looks like Wheatley is finally set to make Freakshift. The film will follow an elite police unit, tasked with protecting a city from bloodthirsty, neanderthal-like creatures that emerge from underground at night – and a viral pathogen that they are believed to spread.
Deadline is confirming that Hammer has joined the cast of Freakshift, ahead of filming on the project starting this August. Oscar-winner Alicia Vikander is starring as Freakshift‘s protagonist, with Hammer playing her love interest in the film. Freakshift also serves as a reunion for Vikander and Hammer, as the two previously co-headlined Guy Ritchie’s The Man from U.N.C.L.E. along with Henry Cavill.
Although Hammer earned much in the way of critical applause for both his breakout performance(s) as The Winklevoss Twins in The Social Network and J. Edgar Hoover’s significant other, Clyde Tolson, in J. Edgar, Hammer has struggled to find success in the blockbuster realm; with such would-be franchise starters as The Lone Ranger and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. both failing to connect with audiences and landing as box office disappointments. Freakshift, however, may be more in Hammer’s wheelhouse and prove all the more successful for it.
Free Fire is headed to theaters later this month, but first audiences will be able to see Hammer in the military drama Mine, where he portrays a soldier who becomes stranded in a North African desert – after stepping on a landmine that will explode if he moves. He will also lend his voice to the role of upstart villain Jackson Storm in Disney/Pixar’s Cars 3. Vikander, already one of Hollywood’s rising talents after a starmaking turn in Ex Machina, will next be seen as the new Lara Croft in the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot.