Alicia Vikander to battle monsters in Ben Wheatley's Freakshift

Alicia Vikander (credit: WENN)
Alicia Vikander (credit: WENN)

Having broken through with sci-fi hit ‘Ex Machina,’ with roles in ‘Jason Bourne’ and ‘The Man From UNCLE’ under her belt, and ‘Tomb Raider’ in production, Alicia Vikander seems well on her way to becoming something of a genre icon – and this latest bit of casting news will surely only help her on her way.

Deadline report that Vikander, winner of the 2016 Best Supporting Actress Oscar for ‘The Danish Girl,’ is in talks to star in ‘Freakshift,’ a new original action-horror movie from British writer-director Ben Wheatley.

It sounds like a fairly ambitious project which could mark a significant change in gear for Wheatley. In the past six years alone the prolific independent filmmaker has made five very different feature films (‘Kill List’, ‘Sightseers,’ ‘A Field in England,’ ‘High Rise’ and the upcoming ‘Free Fire’), as well as directing two shorts and two episodes of ‘Doctor Who.’

‘Freakshift’ looks likely to be the director’s largest-scale project to date, reportedly centring on “a band of misfits who hunt down and kill nocturnal underground monsters” using a custom-built armoured vehicle.

No details about Vikander’s character have been revealed, but based on the premise we might expect something that capitalises on her burgeoning action heroine status which looks likely to be cemented by her upcoming turn as Lara Croft.

Alicia Vikander shooting 'Tomb Raider' (credit: Instagram / @karacasanime)
Alicia Vikander shooting ‘Tomb Raider’ (credit: Instagram / @karacasanime)

Wheatley co-wrote ‘Freakshift’ with his frequent collaborator Amy Jump, and the project has been in the works for some time. The director discussed the project with The Playlist all the way back as 2012, explaining, “It’s about a crew that’s built up this armored vehicle and they go out and have to respond to 911 calls about these big monsters that have come out of the ground,” and describing the monsters in question as “massive half-monkey mutant things.”

The official ‘Freakshift’ Twitter account (@Freakshiftfilm) has shared various pieces of concept art from the film, including the enticing image below:

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No potential release date for ‘Freakshift’ has been announced yet, but Wheatley’s latest ‘Free Fire’ opens on 31 March. Meanwhile, Vikander will make her debut as Lara Croft when ‘Tomb Raider’ opens on 16 March 2018.

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