With Tom Hiddleston On-Board, What Can We Expect From 'High Rise'?

Tags: Tom Hiddleston - Ben Wheatley

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With director Ben Wheatley announcing that Tom Hiddleston has been cast in the lead role in the upcoming 'High Rise', we're now brimming with anticipation for the JG Ballard adaptation. The director set tongues wagging by tweeting a picture of the movie poster and writing “here we go. Cant quite believe this is happening. Tom Hiddleston! Jeremy Thomas! Script by Amy Jump! JG BALLARD!” The big screen version of 'High Rise' has been in the works for decades so we thought we'd give some explaination of the project's history and what can be expected now it's finally hitting the big screen.

Tom Hiddleston has been cast as the lead in 'High Rise.'Tom Hiddleston has been cast as the lead in 'High Rise.'

What is 'High Rise'?;
High Rise' was published by English author JG Ballard in 1975, Ballard had just gained notoriety for his novel 'Crash', published two years earlier. Like many of Ballard's works 'High-Rise' is a dystopian work looking at the negative impact of modern life. It centers on a new residential tower which was designed as a luxurious solution to the problems of the city, but where the residents find themselves becoming increasingly isolated. Hiddleston will play Robert Laing, a young doctor who, as life in the High Rise deteriorates and residents break into tribal factions, finds himself in the middle of mounting violence that begins to emerge in himself.

Who else is involved?
Producing the movie is Jeremy Thomas, who also produced the 1996 adaptation of Ballard’s novel 'Crash'. Thomas was a long-term friend of the author, who died in 2009, and has been trying to get a film version of 'High Rise' made since the 1970s. After a number of false starts Wheatley was announced last year as the director when the film was finally given the green light. Wheatley's version is said to be completely different to earlier proposed incarnations. Wheatley himself is a huge fan of Ballard’s work, after he was announced as the director he told Screen Daily, "I love [his] work.” Also on board is Wheatley's wife Amy Jump who will write the script, she also wrote the Wheatley directed films ‘Kill List’ and ‘A Field In England’.

So what can we expect from Wheatley’s ‘High Rise’?
Well the director has said he wants to stay true to Ballard, he has said “"The idea is to be true to Ballard.” This might mean that like 1996’s 'Crash', 'High Rise' could be unsettling for some. However Wheatley has described the film as being “challenging, like 'Crash', but it's not as dark as 'Kill Lis't, but also adding "the book is pretty out there, though.” Wheatley has confirmed that the movie will definitely be set in England. Upon the announcement of Hindleston’s casting Wheatley reiteratied his enthusiasm for the film by saying it was “a great privilege to be working with Ballard’s seminal book.”

And what about Tom Hiddleston’s casting?
Hiddleston might be most famous as Loki but the actor recently worked with producer Jeremy Thomas on Only Lover’s Left. He told Screen Daily it was “a huge privilege to be asked to collaborate on this brave and daring piece of work”. When asked about working with Wheatley he said, “I can’t wait to work with Ben. He is one of the most inspired directors in the UK, and he brings with him impeccable taste, courage, wit and singular brilliance: the perfect combination to realise the ambition of J. G. Ballard’s unique vision.” Wheatley has been equally complimentary of Hiddleston calling him the perfect Laing,” and adding “he brings an intelligence, vulnerability and humour to his roles, be they art-house or blockbuster that will make Laing come alive.”

Director Ben Wheatley is a fan of Ballard's writing Director Ben Wheatley is a fan of Ballard's writing

Filming is set to begin in June with no release date given yet. However fans of Wheatley have more to look forward to, with the director taking the reigns for Peter Capaldi's first two outings in Doctor Who.


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