The story is set in 1978 Boston, following a woman named Justine (Olivia Wilde) who has set up a meeting between two Irishmen (Cillian Murphy and Michael Smiley) and a gang lead by Luke Evans and Armie Hammer for an arms deal. When shots are fired before the deal is made, the meeting turns into a deadly game of survival.
Here's what director Ben Wheatley had to say about Free Fire in a statement.
"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, Goodfellas, 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."
StudioCanal has acquired the U.K. distribution rights for the $10 million feature, which will be director Ben Wheatley's first film set in the U.S. Andrew Starke will produce, with shooting scheduled to begin this spring. Ben Wheatley is in post-production on High-Rise, which also stars Luke Evans.
Luke Evans currently stars in Dracula Untold and he will next be seen in The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies. Olivia Wilde is coming off performances in Third Person and The Longest Week. Armie Hammer will next be seen in The Man from U.N.C.L.E., while Cillian Murphy stars in the upcoming In the Heart of the Sea. Michael Smiley most recently starred in Ben Wheatley's A Field in England.
Ben Wheatley has previous cautioned himself against talking too much about his future projects, but one he is happily discussing is shootout actioner Free Fire which now has Luke ‘Bard the Bowman’ Evans aboard. Hey, that guy knows how to shoot straight.
Free Fire is another period piece to follow A Field In England, although set in the much-more-recent times of Boston in 1978. The story, which Wheatley is pitching as a muscular crime flick in the spirit of Melville, Hawks, Scorsese and Walter Hill, charts the fallout from a gun-running hook-up orchestrated by Olivia Wilde in a deserted warehouse. Take two Irishmen (Cillian Murphy and Michael Smiley), a criminal enterprise led by Armie Hammer and Evans, a bunch of guns, some itchy trigger fingers, Wheatley’s skills behind the camera and to Empire’s mind, you have all the ingredients for a crackerjack action movie.
“The idea for Free Fire came from my love of hard-boiled crime movies,” Wheatley told Variety. “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.
“It will take you and stick you in the middle of the action,” he elaborated. “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.”
The $10 million budget he’s working with is a good $9,970,000 more than his debut, 2009’s Down Terrace, was made for. We can’t wait to see what he does with it.
Free Fire is scheduled to get underway in spring next year and already has UK distribution via StudioCanal. Wheatley’s next, High-Rise, will be landing with us meanwhile in 2015. Freakshift, presumably, will be off the table, for the time being at least.
Creator Todd McFarlane previously found success in bringing his unique superhero creation Spawn to both the big and small screen with a live action feature film in 1997 and an animated HBO series that debuted that same year. Now, he is in the midst of producing an animated reboot, though it is not known if this project is a movie intended for theaters, a VOD only release, or an entirely new TV show. Nonetheless, he has debuted the first images from the Untitled Spawn Reboot, giving us a first look at popular cop characters Sam and Twitch along with a city street outside a night club.
For ALL of you that have been asking...here's a SNEAK PEEK at some NEW SPAWN ANIMATION that is in the works!!!!!! Don't tell anyone I showed you because you're the FIRST to see it!!!!!!
At every convention and in every interview I do I am asked a couple of repetitive questions: "When is the new Spawn movie coming and when are we going to see more Animation like we did on HBO years ago?" (I also get a lot of 'when are you going to draw The Amazing Spider-Man for Marvel again?'...)For those of you that don't know, the original Spawn Animation was aired on HBO for three years and won a couple of Emmy Awards. Ever since it went off the air, fans have been bugging me to bring it back. Well, for your eyes only, here are some early images of a few key characters and a rough of a city street in black and white and in color.
If you all seem interested there is LOTS and LOTS more I can show you!!!!!! I may even put up some of the voice tracks for you.
Oh...and just wait until you see SPAWN himself!
It is not known when or where the Untitled Spawn Reboot will make its debut. The story follows an assassin who is double-crossed and murdered by his evil boss. He makes a deal with the devil and returns to earth to destroy the world with a deadly virus that will help start Armageddon and allow Hell to attack Heaven. Spawn is then forced to choose between Good & Evil.
Attending the Abu Dhabi Film Festival this week, producer Edward R. Pressman revealed that production begins on The Crow remake this spring, while revealing that no cast members have been confirmed at this time.
We reported in May 2013 that Luke Evans (Dracula Untold, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug) had signed on to play Eric Draven, and the actor has spoke about the role in interviews over the past year. The Hollywood Reporter states that the actor is the "current favorite" for the role, which contradicts the May 2013 report that he has already signed on. We also reported last November that The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus was in talks to play a character named James.
"It still has a big fan base even though it was so long ago. But the generation today doesn't even know The Crow."
Based on the James O'Barr comic book of the same name, The Crow centers on rock star Eric Draven, who is murdered alongside his fiancee, when he is brought back to life to avenge his own death.
The Crow is in development and stars Luke Evans. The film is directed by F. Javier Gutiérrez.
In its efforts to be seen as competing with Marvel’s ever-expanding movie universe, Warner Bros. put out its own slate of Justice League-flavoured films recently. Now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio and DC Comics are looking to change things up behind the camera, aiming to hire a female director for Wonder Woman.
While it shouldn’t have to be seen as a landmark decision, the fact remains that despite early discussions on several films, there has yet to be a female director on either Warner Bros. or Marvel’s current efforts (you have to reach back to 2008’s Punisher: War Zone to find Lexi Alexander bringing a studio effort to life). And finding a good director to bring Gal Gadot’s first solo outing as Wonder Woman would be a firm step forward on that front.
No names were mentioned in the piece, but there are several good candidates out there, ranging from known film names like Mimi Leder and Kathryn Bigelow and less famous but equally capable people such as Breaking Bad’s award-winning director Michelle MacLaren.
We recently discussed the struggles of female directors to find acceptance and fair treatment in one of our Future Of Film articles. "If the first Star Wars movie had been invented today, I'd be champing at the bit to direct it,” Belle’s Amma Assante told us. “But it's going to take more than an Amma Assante blockbuster film. I think you need some kind of critical mass, because one or two doesn't really make a pattern. You need three or four [women] doing it within a few years of each other, and having hits with those movies."
And while indie directors such a Gareth Edwards and the Russo brothers have found success in blockbusters, it’s not every director who wants to tread that path. "I can't lie, my sensibilities are the moment are probably different to the idea of that great big blockbuster, but that isn't to say there isn't one out there that would appeal to me,” says Obvious Child’s Gillian Robespierre. “So often I will go to watch brilliant movies that I know I wouldn't be right to direct, because who I am as a consumer is different to who I am as a writer or director."
The right director is out there – now it’s just a case of finding her.
If you haven’t read Irene Nemirovsky’s Suite Française, you should remedy that as soon as possible. As great-yet-not-quite-complete works of art go, it’s right up there with Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony and any attempt to make a film about Don Quixote ever. Its big-screen interpretation comes with awards hopes and two leads, Michelle Williams and Rust And Bone’s Matthias Schoenaerts, with the chops to carry its great swells of emotion. Check out its new trailer below.
Williams plays Lucille Angellier, a French villager whose husband has fallen into the hands of the Germany army. The arrival of a Wehrmacht officer called Bruno (Schoenaerts) as part of that occupying force, not to mention a small army of refugees fleeing Paris, throws everything that wasn’t already into flux into that state of disrepair for her. Worse still, she begins to feel things for Bruno that could cost her dear.
The book is divided into three parts, although the first, a semi-satirical look at the fall of France in 1940, looks to have been condensed in favour of Lucille and Bruno’s burgeoning relationship. The reaction of her compatriots to this perceived act of treachery shines through in the trailer. ‘Allo ‘Allo, this ain’t.
Expect Suite Française to be heavy on emotional turmoil and heartache, and light on Madonnas with big boobies when it makes its UK cinema bow on January 23, the golden hour of awards season. It's written and directed by The Duchess's Saul Dibb and also features Ruth Wilson, Margot Robbie, Alexandra Maria Lara, Tom Schilling, Kristin Scott Thomas and Sam Riley. Mark your diaries.
James Franco has been on a run of adapting novels recently, and for his latest directorial job, he’s turning Steve Erickson’s 2007 book Zeroville into a film. The new project will find him turning the tables (and cameras) on his This Is The End co-star/director Seth Rogen, with Jacki Weaver, Megan Fox, Danny McBride, Horatio Sanz, Dave Franco, Craig Robinson and Will Ferrell all also aboard.
Zeroville, which Paul Felton and Ian Olds have scripted, finds Franco as a young, movie-obsessed architecture student arriving in Hollywood in 1969 and almost immediately mistaken for one of the perpetrators in the Charles Manson murders.
He’s plunged into a world of sex, fame and drugs as the old guard movie studios decline and the renegade directors rise, and he’s present for the big changes in the 1980s.
Rogen will be Viking Man, an eccentric, cigar-loving, surf-happy hippy who acts as Franco’s guide through this weird world, which includes Fox as a femme fatale named Soledad, Weaver as a film editor who also mentors Franco, and McBride as a sinister moneyman.
Franco has already kicked off grabbing shots for the film, working at the Venice film Festival last month. Zeroville should arrive next year.
Steve Carell drops by this week in honour of Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, while David Ayer keeps things simple - title-wise - as he talks about his latest, Fury. As the latter is a World War II tank movie, expect someone to say "Tanks a lot" at least once. Okay, maybe twice.
Elsewhere in the podcast, some of the team's number forget how to pronounce words properly, and movie spaceships finally get the Empire Podcast appraisal they have long deserved. Things get a bit nerdy, but in a very good way.
P.S. You can check out our podcast photo gallery here and subscribe to the Empire Podcast via our iTunes page or this handy RSS feed. You can subscribe to the magazine here if you like it in paper form, or here if you prefer things digitally.
There has been much made about the lack of female-led superhero movies in the past couple of months, with DC Comics taking a giant leap forward by announcing a standalone Wonder Woman movie starring Gal Gadot. A new report indicates that Warner Bros. is set on hiring a female director to take on the project. But who will it be?
Zack Snyder will have the first crack at shaping and defining this big screen incarnation of Wonder Woman, a character that will debut in his upcoming superhero ensemble Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Its believed that the character will be loosely based on the New 52 version, with the Amazonian princess a goddess fathered by demigod Zeus. While Justice League Part 1 is also being released in 2017, its unclear which project will hit screens first that year.
Its no secret that female directors are in short supply. Kathryn Bigelow seems like an obvious first choice, having directed the intense Oscar-winning drama The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, as well as the action classic Point Break. Though, having beat James Cameron out at the Academy Awards the year Avatar broke box office records may put her out of Warner Bros. and DC's price range. And the project may be seen as too low brow for the acclaimed filmmaker at this time in her career.
Lexi Alexander is also a great candidate, having one superhero movie under her belt already with Punisher: War Zone. Though that Marvel adaptation is hated by as many who love it, the film was considered a flop and may have hurt her chances here. The notoriously outspoken director is also behind the cult thriller Green Street Hooligans. She has proven that she can definitely handle herself in a market dominated by men, but was denied a meeting to direct ExpendaBelles, an all-female spin-off of The Expendables.
Jennifer Yuh Nelson is another name that is in the mix, though she has worked primarily in animation, directing Kung Fu Panda 2 and contributing to the Spawn HBO animates series. There is also Patty Jenkins, who famously stepped down from directing Thor: The Dark World after differences arose between the studio and the director. She is also known for Monster, which garnered a Best Actress Oscar for Charlize Theron.
There are also a couple of actresses turned director who could take the helm, including Angelina Jolie, who is set to make her third feature By the Sea soon, starring alongside husband Brad Pitt. And Elizabeth Banks, who makes her directorial debut with Pitch Perfect 2 next year. She is no stranger to genre fare, having starred in all four The Hunger Games films as Effie Trinket.
It should be noted that Lexi Alexander is most likely out of the running, though. She did tweet out that she knows who may have been offered the project. Plus add to that the fact that she doesn't really seem to want the job:
I kind of heard who's getting the WW gig and if it's true...it's a great choice.— Lexi Alexander (@Lexialex) October 24, 2014
I hope my resistance to directing WW does not come off as ungrateful. It has nothing to do with the property, only my own fear of failure.— Lexi Alexander (@Lexialex) October 24, 2014
Who do you think is right for the job? Let us know your thoughts...
PREDICTED WEEKEND BOX OFFICE:
- 1$23.2 millionOuija100%MovieWeb: 0 reviewsRotten Tomatoes: 0 reviews
- 2$21.5 millionJohn Wick100%MovieWeb: 0 reviews90%Rotten Tomatoes: 9 reviews
- 3$13.1 millionFury100%MovieWeb: 2 reviews78%Rotten Tomatoes: 21 reviews
- 4$12.6 millionGone Girl93%MovieWeb: 3 reviews88%Rotten Tomatoes: 32 reviews
- 5$9.7 millionThe Book of Life100%MovieWeb: 0 reviews80%Rotten Tomatoes: 26 reviews
- 6$7.5 millionAlexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day50%MovieWeb: 0 reviews64%Rotten Tomatoes: 35 reviews
- 7$5 millionThe Judge100%MovieWeb: 1 reviews47%Rotten Tomatoes: 7 reviews
- 8$4.8 millionThe Best of MeMovieWeb: 0 reviews7%Rotten Tomatoes: 14 reviews
- 9$4.4 millionDracula Untold84%MovieWeb: 2 reviews24%Rotten Tomatoes: 5 reviews
- 10$4 millionSt. Vincent100%MovieWeb: 0 reviews74%Rotten Tomatoes: 36 reviews
The players recall what happened 30 years ago when a sci-fi movie no one expected to be a hit launched careers (including Arnold Schwarzenegger's), a couple of marriages and a franchise that has grossed $1.4 billion worldwide
Pierce Brosnan is starring in the indie thriller
The horror pic is based on the spooky Hasbro board game; Keanu Reeves makes his return to the big screen as an assassin in 'John Wick'
The Last Witch Hunter follows an immortal witch hunter in modern day New York who must team up with his natural enemy, a female witch, to stop a coven from unleashing a deadly plague on humanity. The fantasy adventure also stars Rose Leslie, Michael Caine, Elijah Wood and Ólafur Darri Ólafsson.
The Last Witch Hunter takes the slot recently vacated by The Conjuring 2. Warner Bros. has another untitled horror movie set to open that day. The big competition for Vin Diesel will be Jem and the Holograms, based on the 80s Hasbro animated series and toy line.
Directed by Breck Eisner, The Last Witch Hunter is currently shooting in Pittsburgh and will wrap in December.
Two decades on from his breakout second feature, Todd Solondz is returning to the world of Welcome To The Dollhouse. He's putting together a sort-of sequel, Wiener-Dog, which will in part pick up the story of erstwhile downtrodden teenager Dawn Wiener. Greta Gerwig and Julie Delpy are in talks to star.
'Wiener-Dog' was the unkind nickname given to the awkward Dawn in the original film, but this time around it has a double meaning. The follow-up will be an ensemble drama covering multiple characters, all of whose stories are linked by a life-changing dachshund. So there's some whimsy amid the angst, as you might predict from the writer/director who followed Dollhouse with Happiness and Storytelling.
Dawn was famously played by the 11-year-old Indie Spirit award-winning Heather Matarazzo last time, but while Matarazzo is still acting and producing, THR confirms that she is definitely not involved in recreating her signature role. Which is a shame. Instead, Gerwig will be playing the grown-up Wiener.
The prolific Megan Ellison is aboard Wiener-Dog as a producer and financier via her Annapurna company, and she's joined behind the scenes by Christine Vachon and Killer Films.
Expect this to be a "sequel" to Welcome To The Dollhouse in the same way that Life During Wartime is a "sequel" to both Dollhouse and Happiness. Palindromes is also connected, since that film opens with Dawn's funeral, placing Wiener-Dog, obviously enough, chronologically earlier.
Much to ponder then, but there's no start date yet. After some time in quiet development, however, things are now moving quickly.
The Chinese e-commerce giant, led by chairman Jack Ma, is looking to buy chairman Mark Rachesky's stake
And see what THR's critics are saying about the Keira Knightley comedy 'Laggies,' the Shailene Woodley drama 'White Bird in a Blizzard' and the Edward Snowden-focused doc 'Citizenfour'