Ben Wheatley, the British director of Down Terrace, The Kill List, and Sightseers has been making a movie adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s 1975 novel, High Rise.
The story, about an isolated community living in a state-of-the-art tower block sharply divided along class and altitude lines would seem to slot in very well with Wheatley’s style, so I have been quite buzzed about it for some time.
The movie itself premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, and early word has been good, though not uniformly positive. Adapting Ballard does bring with it its own unique set of challenges, and Wheatley — though gifted — has yet to prove himself as a sure enough hand capable of producing something completely whole; but nevertheless this is an intriguing project that should warrant a viewing from anyone interested in a palate cleanser from the otherwise never-ending buffet of sequels, reboots, and reborquels. Especially since the majority of the criticism seems to be of the ‘messy’ nature. Frankly, we can do with a bit of messy now and then. Elisabeth Moss, who stars, said of the production:
I don’t know anyone who makes movies like he does… (it was) like if you gave him a bigger crew, a little bit more money, costumes and hair and makeup, all of that stuff that maybe he hasn’t had before. It was so fun, he is just a fucking genius and he’s so funny.
High Rise was picked up by Magnolia Pictures, and it also stars Tom Hiddleston, Sienna Miller, Jeremy Irons, Luke Evans, and James Purefoy, and is set to arrive in 2016.
Here’s the trailer:
You can also read Hiddleston explaining how he went method for the role here, but be warned: there be minor spoilers.