A couple of weeks ago, we brought you news that Inception star Cillian Murphy and Thandie Newton had signed on to star in the thriller The Retreat. We also said that the film was pretty much a “three-hander” in the mold of Dead Calm. Well it appears that the missing side to the triangle has now been found, in the form of future Tintin star Jamie Bell.
The original synopsis for the film was:
“Murphy and Newton will play a husband and wife who rent a remote island cottage while trying to repair their marriage. One day they find a biohazard-suited soldier washed up on the beach, who warns them that everybody on the mainland has been killed by an airborne virus. That’s when the psychological fun-and-games begin...”
It’s pretty safe to assume at this juncture that Bell will be portraying the soldier in the Carl Tibbetts-directed thriller, which is set to start shooting in Wales next month. The young actor has had quite a rise to stardom since he first came to prominence in the film Billy Elliot a decade ago. Since then, he has starred in a few British films (including the underrated Deathwatch), Peter Jackson’s King Kong remake, Jumper and as previously mentioned he’s set to play the title role in The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn for Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson.
Bell was also on the shortlist to play Spider-Man in director Marc Webb’s superhero reboot for Sony Pictures. He didn’t get the role (which ultimately went to Andrew Garfield) but there’s a certain irony in his new role because Cillian Murphy was also on Christopher Nolan’s shortlist to portray Batman in Batman Begins.
The Retreat has the potential to be a thrilling movie, and while I don’t think that it’ll make a killing at the box office, it should satisfy fans of the genre. Good psychological thrillers are hard to do, but if done well this could be a film that finds a strong audience on DVD or on the art house circuit. My only worry is that I think that Bell could be a bit too young to bring any real menace to the role, but at this point I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt – at least until I see a trailer.
Bell will next be seen in the period action film The Eagle, which opens in February.