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Ben Wheatley’s 1970s-set ‘Free Fire’ will close the London Film Festival

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TimeOutFilm
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It’s just been announced that Ben Wheatley’s 1970s-set thriller ‘Free Fire’ is to close this year’s London Film Festival on October 16. 

The crime flick is the ‘High-Rise’ and ‘Kill List’ director's first American film. Exec-produced by Martin Scorsese, it’s set in in 1978 and stars Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, Armie Hammer, Sam Riley and Wheatley regular Michael Smiley. Woman-of-the-moment Larson (soon to appear in Marvel’s first female-fronted superhero film) plays a woman brokering a gun deal between an American gang and two Irishmen (Murphy and Smiley) in a deserted warehouse in Massachusetts. 

Wheatley has said the film, co-written with his wife Amy Jump, was inspired by his love of hardboiled crime films like ‘The Big Sleep,’ ‘The French Connection’ and more recently ‘Reservoir Dogs’. ‘It will take you and stick you in the middle of the action,’ the director told trade paper Variety: ‘I want the film to have the stylish, no-nonsense feel that you get in [Sam] Peckinpah’s “The Getaway”. It’s a modern ’70s movie. Muscular, tough and spare.’

‘Free Fire’ is the third film in the London Film Festival's line-up to be announced. True-life drama ‘A United Kingdom’ starring Rosamund Pike as a secretary in 1940s London who falls in love with an African king studying for the bar (David Oyelowo) is to open the festival. Disney's ‘Queen of Katwe’ with Lupita Nyong’o, another real-life story, about a young Ugandan chess prodigy, is also receiving its UK premiere. 

The full programme for the London Film Festival will be announced on September 1. Read our guide to LFF now.

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