Ben Wheatley’s ‘Freakshift’ is Bringing Your OTP Back Together

By  · Published on April 5th, 2017

Alicia Vikander and Armie Hammer are gonna fight giant crab monsters with guns. I know, right?!

Vikander and Hammer in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015)

If you haven’t settled on your one true pairing yet, today’s casting news is about to make things a lot easier. Ben Wheatley (Free Fire) is hard at work on his next feature: Freakshift. Wheatley co-wrote the script for Freakshift with Amy Jump, and its premise is sufficiently cool:

A band of misfit cops hunt down and kill nocturnal underground monsters.”

Honestly, Wheatley had me at “hunt.” In an appearance on the podcast Kernels, Wheatley elaborated on the film’s premise by touting it as a sci-fi film about “women with shotguns fighting giant crabs.” Although Wheatley joked about the film selling itself, it kinda just does. Giant sea life and double barreled guns are fine and dandy, but let’s get our priorities straight. Recently, it was announced that Armie Hammer will be joining Freakshift as a love interest for Alicia Vikander’s protagonist. So the real fun here is going to be Vikander and Hammer.

Nowadays Hollywood doesn’t market two stars as an on-screen super couple. Sure they’ve tried pairing off the self-depreciating charm of Jennifer Lawrence with an “it” male actor like Chris Pratt, but it just doesn’t seem to work. The whole doesn’t advance past the sum of its parts. That is where Vikander and Hammer come in.

As evidenced by Guy Richie’s The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Vikander and Hammer have a shitload of chemistry. I submit, for my persuasive indulgence, the fun dance fight from The Man from U.N.C.L.E. The scene takes place after Henry Cavill goes off spying, as super suave though blandsome spies do. At this point in the film, Cavill is basically answering every theater goers collective prayer by letting Vikander and Hammer have a prolonged scene alone. The result is a sexy chess fight dance…thingy? Ok, I’m not sure how to classify it exactly other than placing it in the nebulous “good scene” category.

Just get together you crazy kids! Great, now I sound like my aunts trying to play matchmaker. Ugh. It comes down to this: chemistry goes a long way in making a big budget action film land. There needs to be a beating heart. Vikander and Hammer have it in them to be a great on-screen couple. They are the engine needed to get that adrenaline filled blood moving. The “how” of this is complicated. It may have to do with her smallness contrasted with his tallness or her scrappy wit and his sternness. Whatever it is, it works, and it’s about time somebody talented like Ben Wheatley pounced on it.

Will they be a millennial Douglas and Turner? Perhaps, a Hepburn and Tracy? I don’t know, but I’ll wager they’ll at least go Hanks and Ryan with guns and monsters.

Free Fire, with Armie Hammer, hits U.S. theaters on April 21 through A24. Alicia Vikander is currently filming Tomb Raider which is slated to hit theaters in 2018. Also, before you go cheating on us by listening to Kernels, we too are in the podcast game.

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Writer and law student.