Room distributor A24 has picked up the US rights to FREE FIRE, a thriller starring Best Actress Oscar-winner Brie Larson and Armie Hammer. The film was directed by Ben Wheatley, from a script by Wheatley and Amy Jump, and executive produced by Martin Scorsese.
The story centers on an arms deal between to Irish gangs that goes very wrong. Larson’s character has brokered a meeting in a deserted warehouse between two Irishmen and a gang led by Vernon and Ord, who are selling them a stash of guns. But when shots are fired during the handover, complete pandemonium ensues, with everyone at the scene suddenly thrust into a heart-stopping game of survival.
Olivia Wilde was initially cast in the role, but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts, and Larson was her replacement. A fortunate turn of events for the filmmakers, it seems, given Larson’s stellar rise over the past year. In the wake of her Academy Award-winning performance in Room, any project with Larson’s name on it has instantly become that much more intriguing. High-Rise director Wheatley’s Free Fire was already rumored to be a solid pic, but given Larson’s track record of choosing strong material – bolstered by her Oscar win – there’s now more buzz surrounding the crime thriller. Other upcoming Larson projects include the dramas Brooklyn Bridge and The Glass Castle.
A24 picked up Free Fire from Alchemy, as that company continues to dish off some of its acquisitions in the midst of financial turmoil. A24 is working from quite a different position, however, as the distributor of 2015 sleeper hits Room and Ex Machina. WME Global brokered the deal.
Larson is repped by WME and Authentic.
Josh Lyons | Managing Editor