Ben Wheatley

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Ben Wheatley
Ben Wheatley (cropped).jpg
Wheatley in 2012
Born1972 (age 46–47)
Billericay, Essex, England, United Kingdom
ResidenceBrighton, England, United Kingdom
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter
Notable work
Kill List
A Field in England
Spouse(s)Amy Jump

Ben Wheatley (born May 1972)[1] [2] is an English director of feature films, TV comedy shows, adverts and idents, animated shorts and internet ads.

Early life[edit]

Wheatley was born in Billericay, Essex. He went to Haverstock School in North London and it was here during the sixth form that he met Amy Jump, who is now his wife and co-founder of the "Mr and Mrs Wheatley" blog.[3] The couple have a son[4] and live in Brighton.[5]


Initially a short film maker and animator, Wheatley moved his work to the internet. His clip "cunning stunt" which shows his friend Rob Hill jumping over a car has had over 10 million views.[citation needed] The hundred or so short animations and games found on the "Mr and Mrs Wheatley" site were noticed by large media companies and Wheatley's work expanded into mainstream media.[citation needed]

In 2006 Wheatley won a "Lion" award at Cannes advertising festival for directing the AMBX viral, with The Viral Factory.[6] In July 2006 he directed live-action sections of the TV series Modern Toss, ("i live ere", "Alan", "Drive by abuser", "Customer services", "Accident and emergency", "Citizens advice", "Illegal alphabet"), which was aired on Channel 4. Wheatley has also written and created clips for BBC Two's Time Trumpet and has appeared in and directed sketches for BBC Three's Comedy Shuffle.[7] Between 2007 and 2009 Wheatley directed series 2 of Modern Toss, The Wrong Door and Ideal series 5 and 6 for BBC Three.

In May 2009 he directed the feature film Down Terrace in eight days; it won the Next Wave prize at Fantastic Fest in Austin and Best UK Feature at Raindance in London.[8][9] In 2010 Wheatley completed his second feature, Kill List for Warp X.[10][11] Wheatley's third film was the black comedy Sightseers, released in the UK in November 2012. It was written by its stars, Alice Lowe and Steve Oram, with additional material by Amy Jump, and was chosen for the Directors' Fortnight section of the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.[12][13] Wheatley's fourth film, A Field in England was financed through the Film4 talent and ideas hub, Film4.0. It was followed in 2016 by High Rise, an adaptation of the J.G. Ballard novel of the same name. He has also directed advertisements for Blink Productions and Moxie.

A sci-fi TV series, Silk Road, written and directed by Wheatley, has been announced. It is said to be "in the vein of the Patrick McGoohan TV series The Prisoner," and will be screened on HBO.[14] In 2014, Wheatley directed the first two episodes of the eighth series of Doctor Who, a show he has been a fan of since childhood.[15]

Wheatley wrote and directed Free Fire starring an ensemble cast including Cilian Murphy, Brie Larson, Armie Hammer and Sharlto Copley. His film Happy New Year, Colin Burstead was made for the BBC 2018 Christmas schedule but will be available on the Iplayer for the entirety of 2019.[16]

In November 2018, Wheatley was announced as the director of a new adaption of Daphne du Maurier's gothic romance novel Rebecca, a Working Title Films production to be released on Netflix. The film will star Lily James and Armie Hammer. Hammer worked with Wheatley previously on Free Fire.[17]



Year Film Credited as Notes
Director Writer Producer Editor
2009 Down Terrace Yes Yes Yes Yes
2011 Kill List Yes Yes Yes
2012 Sightseers Yes Yes
The ABCs of Death Yes Yes Segment: U Is for Unearthed
2013 A Field in England Yes Yes
2015 High-Rise Yes Yes
2016 Free Fire Yes Yes Yes
2018 Happy New Year, Colin Burstead Yes Yes Yes


  • Time Trumpet (2006) – Writer (4 Episodes)
  • Modern Toss (2008) – Director (4 Episodes)
  • The Wrong Door (2008) – Writer/Director (6 Episodes)
  • Steve Coogan: The Inside Story (2009) – Director
  • Ideal (2009–10) – Director (14 Episodes)
  • Doctor Who (2014) – Director (2 Episodes)
  • Strange Angel (2018) - Director (1 episode)

Music videos[edit]

Recurring collaborators[edit]

Actor Down Terrace Kill List Sightseers The ABCs of Death A Field in England High-Rise Free Fire Happy New Year, Colin Burstead Total
Alice Lowe YesN YesN 2
Eileen Davies YesN YesN 2
Enzo Cilenti YesN YesN 2
Gareth Tunley YesN YesN 2
Gemma Lise Thornton YesN YesN 2
Julia Deakin YesN YesN 2
Kali Peacock YesN YesN 2
Kenneth Hadley YesN YesN 2
Mark Kempner YesN YesN 2
Michael Smiley YesN YesN YesN YesN YesN 5
Neil Maskell YesN YesN YesN 3
Peter Ferdinando YesN YesN YesN 3
Reece Shearsmith YesN YesN 2
Richard Glover YesN YesN YesN 3
Robert Hill YesN YesN 2
Robin Hill YesN YesN 2
Sam Riley YesN YesN 2
Sara Dee YesN YesN YesN YesN YesN YesN 6
Simon Smith YesN YesN 2
Steve Oram YesN YesN 2
Tony Way YesN YesN YesN 2
Crew Down Terrace Kill List Sightseers A Field in England High-Rise Free Fire Happy New Year, Colin Burstead Total
Amy Jump YesN YesN YesN YesN YesN 5
Andrew Starke YesN YesN YesN YesN YesN YesN 6
Claire Jones YesN YesN YesN 3
Jim Williams YesN YesN YesN YesN 4
Laurie Rose YesN YesN YesN YesN YesN YesN YesN 7
Robin Hill YesN YesN YesN 3
Martin Pavey YesN YesN YesN YesN YesN YesN YesN 7


  1. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Ben Child (29 August 2013). "Ben Wheatley to direct adaptation of JG Ballard's High Rise". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  3. ^ MrandMrsWheatley
  4. ^ "A Field in England director Ben Wheatley on the key films in his life". The Dissolve. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  5. ^ "Ben Wheatley Update". Film City Brighton & Hove. Archived from the original on 29 May 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  6. ^ AMBX Archived 28 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Time Trumpet Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Now Toronto 'Q&A'
  9. ^ Film4 Compiling ‘The Kill List’ Archived 9 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Devil Worshippers Beware! You May Be Part of The Kill List". Dread Central.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 June 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ Leffler, Rebecca. "Cannes 2012: Michel Gondry's 'The We & The I' to Open Director's Fortnight". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  13. ^ "2012 Selection". Directors' Fortnight. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  14. ^ Hatfull, Jonathan (19 March 2013). "SIGHTSEERS DIRECTOR BEN WHEATLEY GETS HBO TV SERIES". Silk Road for HBO.
  15. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (14 October 2013). "Ben Wheatley to direct Doctor Who". ScreenDaily. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  16. ^
  17. ^ Kroll, Justin (2018-11-14). "Lily James, Armie Hammer to Star in Daphne du Maurier Adaptation 'Rebecca'". Variety. Retrieved 2018-12-03.

External links[edit]