Filmmaker Ben Wheatley is moving right along from project to project, and he may have set up a high-profile remake for his next film. Per Deadline, the Kill List and Sightseers director is in negotiations to helm a remake of the 1953 thriller The Wages of Fear for producer David Lancaster, Rumble Films, and eOne.
Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot, the original was an adaptation of a Georges Arnaud novel about a group of men hired to transport a shipment of highly explosive nitroglycerin across the jungle. It’s served as a cornerstone film for a number of filmmakers, most notably William Friedkin who helmed his own remake of the picture with 1977’s Sorcerer.
Wheatley’s wife Amy Jump would co-write The Wages of Fear should the deal make, with whom he’s written his previous four features. Wheatley’s most recent film, the class warfare satire High-Rise starring Tom Hiddleston and Luke Evans, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival to mixed response, although it was more warmly received at a subsequent screening at the genre-leaning Fantastic Fest. Indeed it’s very hard satire with plenty of violence and a very different side of Hiddleston on display, so I imagine it’ll play much better with genre fans or folks familiar with Wheatley’s filmography.
The director already has his High-Rise follow-up in the can, the ensemble contained actioner Free Fire starring Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, and Cillian Murphy, with Martin Scorsese onboard as an executive producer. That picture just scored a major international distribution deal and Alchemy is closing in on paying close to $3 million for domestic rights.
Wheatley’s career thus far has been kind of ideal. He’s been able to maintain his own particular sensibilities while tackling a variety of subjects with spectacular casts and the budgets to support his vision. The Wages of Fear would seem to fit that profile as well, so on the Ben Wheatley train goes.