Ben Wheatley to Remake Classic Thriller ‘The Wages of Fear’
British filmmaker Ben Wheatley has been something of a polarizing quantity over the past few years. He directs stylized, reality-bending films that some swear by as if they were gospel, but others concede are only interesting. His 2011 horror film Kill List has already begun to amass a considerable cult following and is only growing faster, his 2013 head-trip A Field in England blew the minds of the lucky few that saw it, and his latest film, the J.G. Ballard adaptation High-Rise, has drawn generally positive reviews out of the film festivals at which it’s screened. Our own Britt Hayes declared that High-Rise may be Wheatley’s best yet in her review from Fantastic Fest, and so cinephiles are eager to see what the emerging director’s going to do next.
Well, his next film is going to be the claustrophobic shootout thriller Free Fire, starring Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, Sharlto Copley, and Cillian Murphy. But we knew that already. The new news concerns the movie he intends on making after Free Fire, clarified today in a post from Deadline. Wheatley is in the process of signing a deal to remake the classic thriller The Wages of Fear for eOne.
Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot of Diabolique fame, the original 1953 film followed a quartet of doomed Europeans transporting two trucks full of nitroglycerine through the mountains to an exploding oil well in Mexico so that the flame can be extinguished. The film is a pressure cooker of unrelenting tension, and William Friedkin would go on to remake the film as well for his magnificent 1877 film Sorcerer. Among cinephiles, the both films are little-known treasures. For his diehard fans, the news that Wheatley will be handling the property inspires rapturous joy. For those not on the Wheatley bandwagon, cautious optimism.