Writer/Director Ben Wheatley has revealed via his Twitter page Tom Hiddleston will headline his upcoming film adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s HIGH RISE.
The following plot synopsis is brought to you by Amazon: When a class war erupts inside a luxurious apartment block, modern elevators become violent battlegrounds and cocktail parties degenerate into marauding attacks on “enemy” floors. In this visionary tale, human society slips into violent reverse as once-peaceful residents, driven by primal urges, re-create a world ruled by the laws of the jungle.
I don’t really need to tell you how exciting this announcement is, do I? Just the mere mention of Wheatley, Hiddleston, and Ballard in the same sentence should be enough make any fanboy or girl’s Spidey sense tingle.
I hit up CRASH, EMPIRE OF THE SUN, and HIGH RISE a couple years back on a friend’s suggestion and was impressed. Ballard has no problems digging deep into the human condition and exposing it. The film adaptations of CRASH (the James Spader pic, not that pretentious crap that won Best Picture at the Oscars back in ’04) and SUN (easily Steven Spielberg’s most underrated film) weren’t too bad either, so Ballard’s work is definitely adaptable. Plus, HIGH RISE is deliciously f*cked up which makes it right up Wheatley’s alley.
If Wheatley isn’t on your pop culture radar, you need to rectify that immediately. Dude is basically the British lovechild of Stanley Kubrick and the Coen brothers. His films DOWN TERRACE, KILL LIST, SIGHTSEERS, and A FIELD IN ENGLAND are top notch mindf*cks. He’s perfect choice to helm something like this.
As for Hiddleston, he’s great. I know this. You know this. You’ve no doubt seen THOR, THE AVENGERS, THOR: THE DARK WORLD, the dancing videos, his impersonations of Alan Rickman and Chris Evans, etc. What else is there to say about this guy that hasn’t already been said? I will say that if you venture just outside of the Marvel film universe you’ll find he’s great in pretty much everything he appears in. THE HOLLOW CROWN, WALLANDER, THE DEEP BLUE SEA, WAR HORSE, and MIDNIGHT IN PARIS are all worth checking out. His work in Jim Jarmusch’s upcoming vampire pic ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE is reportedly amazing so there’s that.
Long story short: This is a project worth keeping an eye on. The individual projects of each of these individuals would be alone worth keeping an eye on, but put three of them together and …yeah. HIGH RISE is gonna be good.
And now, a little something for the ladies. Enjoy.
USELESS KNOWLEDGE: For over 30 years, British producer Jeremy Thomas has wanted to do a film version of HIGH RISE. It was nearly made in the late 1970s, with Nicolas Roeg (DON’T LOOK NOW) directing from a script by Paul Mayersberg. However, financing fell through and Roeg and Thomas did BAD TIMING instead, and Thomas later went on to adapt Ballard's CRASH for the screen with director David Cronenberg (THE FLY). In recent times Thomas has revisited HIGH RISE, and the project was in development with Canadian filmmaker Vincenzo Natali (CUBE) attached to write and direct. [Wikipedia]