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Film4 goes monster mad with Ben Wheatley

EXCLUSIVE: Film4 is in discussions with potential co-financiers here on Kill List and Sightseers director Ben Wheatley’s planned cops-and-monsters film Freakshift.

The project is likely to shoot in spring 2013.

“There are a lot of people interested in working with him and seeing him scale up,” says Film4 senior commissioning executive Katherine Butler.

Another hot project in development is Lenny Abrahamson’s Frank, which is now casting to shoot towards the end of the year. BAFTA winner Peter Straughan wrote with Jon Ronson.

These are among a busy slate of diverse projects at Film4, which has a banner Cannes this year with both Sightseers and On The Road premiering tonight. The outfit also backed Fyzal Boulifa’s Cannes-selected short The Curse.

Film4 head Tessa Ross said: “Cannes always presents us with a great opportunity to share our upcoming slate of films with our international partners, and it’s a particular pleasure to be here with three films in amongst all the other fantastic films in Cannes this year.”

Other upcoming projects include Ken Loach’s documentary Spirit of ’45, Yann Demange’s Belfast-set thriller 71, Clio Barnard’s The Arbor follow-up The Selfish Giant, John Crowley’s Carol to star Cate Blanchett and Mia Wasikowska, Shane Meadows’ Stone Roses documentary, Jeremy Lovering’s low-budget horror In Fear, Kevin Macdonald’s How I Live Now starring Saorsie Ronan, and Justin Kurzel’s Our Kind of Traitor and Anton Corbijn’s A Most Wanted Man (both John Le Carre adaptations), Richard Ayoade’s second directorial feature The Double, and Nick Frost-starring Cuban Fury.

Film4 is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

Wheatley’s bloody black comedy Sightseers is attracting a lot of buyer attention for Protagonist. Wheatley is also preparing another feature, I, Macrobane.

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