July 23, 2021

Ben Wheatley: ‘Blue-collar’ action movies are ‘out of fashion’

By Bang Showbiz in Movies / TV / Theatre on 20 June 2021

Ben Wheatley thinks movies like ‘The Meg’ have “gone out of fashion”.

The 48-year-old filmmaker is set to direct ‘Meg 2: The Trench’ – a follow-up to the 2018 action movie about a giant prehistoric shark – and is looking forward to bringing back to cinemas the sort of blockbuster that used to be hugely popular.

He said: “It’s a kind of cause-and-effect, blue-collar action movie that James Cameron and Steven Spielberg did really strongly and has gone out of fashion.”

And to do so, Ben couldn’t ask for a better star than Jason Statham.

He said: “He has a world-weariness about him that reminds me of early Harrison Ford – a constant sense of, ‘Why is this happening to me? I’m very cross.’ “

The ‘In the Earth’ filmmaker had also been signed up to direct a ‘Tomb Raider’ sequel but ultimately departed the project because of delays due to coronavirus, though he’d been relishing the possibility of tackling a “simple adventure” because they’re also currently not the most popular movies to make.

He told the Daily Telegraph: “It’s something missing from cinema at the moment – the simple adventure, when the characters explore and see amazing stuff, and there’s wonder and awe, and they’re chased, and there are tricks and traps. It was an itch I wanted to scratch.”

Ben was a surprising choice to direct Netflix’s adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s ‘Rebecca’ but he viewed it as an opportunity to learn and to try something “very different”.

He said: “It was an opportunity to learn from Working Title and to make something that was very different from everything else I’d done so far.

“It’s a similar thing to when you make a ‘Doctor Who’: you don’t go in there and have Peter Capaldi smash someone over the head with a hammer. You do it because you like it, not because you want to change it into something else.”


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