Those of you who have been following the international film market as of recently have probably heard of Ben Wheatley. Or, and this is more likely, if you’re any kind of rabid Tom Hiddleston fan, you probably noticed that he stars in the new film High-Rise, the latest film from Mr. Wheatley, a frenzied, fascinating adaptation of J.G. Ballard‘s novel of the same name. You might have also heard that Wheatley is far into post-production and might even be done with his follow-up to that film, Free Fire, which features an all-star cast on par with High-Rise, including the likes of Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, Cillian Murphy, Sam Riley, Sharlto Copley, and Wheatley axiom Michael Smiley.
Well, today brings our first clear look at Wheatley’s latest, courtesy of Empire, with Murphy, Smiley, Larson, and a noticeably bearded Hammer right out front. The film takes place in 1978, in the middle of a Boston-set gun-trafficking shakedown that ends in a number of corpses, and the wardrobe and look of these characters certainly tips you off to the film’s interest in the hairstyles, decor, and wears of the time. Since all the main characters seem to be alive here, it’s safe to say that the image doesn’t give much about the film’s narrative away…like at all.
On top of that already impressive cast, Jack Reynor, Patrick Bergin, and Noah Taylor will also appear in the film, but the biggest name involved with the production would be behind the camera, namely Martin Scorsese. The man behind GoodFellas serves as executive producer here, and it’s not surprising at all to learn that he sees promise in the violent, unhinged narratives that Wheatley has specialized in throughout his short ouevre, from Kill List and Down Terrace to Sightseers and A Field in England. With some sharper writing, bigger budgets, and a bit more formal ambition, Wheatley could become one of, if not the true heir to Scorsese’s throne, but for now, I’m thoroughly enjoying these wild experiments in genre filmmaking that he’s turning out at a clip. Check out the full image below.