It’s been just under a month since Kill List and High Rise director Ben Wheatley was announced as the director for MGM’s forthcoming Tomb Raider sequel. The news was greeted with a chorus of assent from film fans and Lara Croftians alike. Wheatley was not the obvious choice, but his eclectic work with his creative partner Amy Jump has proved they can jump from genre to genre with impeccable aplomb.
We spoke to the director on the red carpet for the BFI’s Luminous Gala, held on the eve of the London Film Festival, and he told us why he was drawn to continuing Lara’s story on the big screen.
“I’ve played games all my life and Free Fire was kind of like a reaction to playing lots of computer games. And [Tomb Raider 2] was one that just came up, and I was like ‘Oh, my God…’, I wouldn’t even think of doing that but now that someone’s said it out loud, it sounds brilliant. We’ve been trying to make a big studio action thing for a long time, and it had come out of the ashes of Freak Shift, which was something we were going to do with Alicia Vikander. So, when this came up I was like…yes – let’s do it.”
It certainly seems that Freak Shift, Wheatley and Jump’s intriguing action horror movie (Synopsis: A band of misfits hunt down and kill underground, nocturnal monsters – who wouldn’t want to see that?) is no more, at least for the time being. Vikander was due to star in that project along with Armie Hammer, whose own slate of future projects is filling up nicely.
We can but hope that Freak Shift finds its way back into development, but we’ll have the prospect of a Vikander/Wheatley/Jump movie with a new chapter in the life of Lara Croft.
Here’s the interview from the carpet this evening, conducted by Scott Davis and Colin Hart.
Ben Wheatley Tomb Raider 2 Interview
Production on Tomb Raider 2 is due to commence in early 2020 with a view to a March, 19th 2021 release date.