UPDATE: As confirmed by IndieWire, it appears the following is bullshit. We're not sure what game Bob Mortimer was playing with the quote below, but Wheatley himself has weighed in and denied the claim. We're going to leave this report up for posterity, anyway.
Just over a year ago, we learned that Ben Wheatley - director of Kill List, High-Rise and a bunch of other movies we absolutely love - was interested in directing a film based on Marvel's grisly, R-rated Marvel Zombies series. At the time, we begged Marvel to let it happen, and then we promptly went about our business, certain that no such thing would ever occur.
Fast-forward to this past week. Actor/comedian Bob Mortimer appeared on the Adam Buxton Podcast, where he mentioned that he and Wheatley had recently been working on a film about the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson. That's an intriguing bit of gossip in and of itself, but it gets better: according to Mortimer, the Michael Jackson project has been backburnered so that Wheatley can work on yet another new film.
Here's what he said, as quoted by The Playlist:
“We were about to start [the Michael Jackson project] but then Ben got offered one of the big Marvel films, so it weren’t for us to say, ‘you ain’t doing that Ben.’”
If we are to take this at face value - if Ben Wheatley's really working on a Marvel project - that's definitely news to us. Last we heard, our man had his hands full with a number of other new projects (including something called Colin You Anus and a creature-feature by the name of Freakshift). Prior to today, the only time we've heard Wheatley's name mentioned in connection to Marvel was last year, in that aforementioned story regarding Marvel Zombies. But surely they're not actually making a Marvel Zombies movie, right?
We have no idea, but we'd be thrilled if they were.
Again, this is all very tenuous and should be taken with every grain of salt you have on hand...but admittedly, it's a lot of fun to imagine what it could be. For one thing, it might not even be an MCU jam - this could very well be a Marvel project set up over at 20th Century Fox. If so, we can't imagine what it'd be, but that outcome does seem likelier, given Wheatley's skill-set and the tone of the Marvel projects being produced over at that studio.
We don't quite know what to make of this, but rest assured we'll be keeping our ear to the ground for further updates. Stay tuned for more as the situation develops, and - in the meantime - feel free to recklessly speculate on all of the above in the comments below.