Ben Wheatley’s “HIGH RISE” casts Irons, MillerMovies/TV,News Samuel Zimmerman
Is there a developing, almost ready-for-production feature more exciting than Ben Wheatley’s brewing adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s seminal HIGH RISE? It goes beyond simply being a new film from Wheatley and co-writer Amy Jump (KILL LIST, A FIELD IN ENGLAND); it’s also poised to be their biggest. The long-gestating project (producer Jeremy Thomas has been trying for years and years) has attracted a stellar cast to its satirical horror story, including Tom Hiddleston and now Jeremy Irons and Sienna Miller.
Screen Daily reports the casting on the 70s-set film, which finds a luxury tower built to accommodate its inhabitants’ every need within degenerate into a hotbed of chaos when the residents turn on each other and form class systems based on ascending floors. The site has a fairly detailed synopsis—likely accompanying its spot in the Cannes Market—which reveal just who the three leads will be embodying:
The film centres on a new residential tower built on the eve of Margaret Thatcher’s rise to power, at the site of what will soon become the world’s financial hub. Designed as a luxurious solution to the problems of the city, it is a world apart.
Enter Robert Laing (Hiddleston), a young doctor seduced by the high-rise and its creator, the visionary architect Anthony Royal (Irons). Laing discovers a world of complex loyalties, and also strikes up a relationship with Royal’s devoted aide Charlotte (Miller).
But rot has set in beneath the flawless surface. Sensing discord amongst the tenants, Laing meets Wilder, a charismatic provocateur bent on inciting the situation. Wilder initiates Laing into the hidden life of the high-rise and Laing is shocked at what he sees. As the residents break into tribal factions, Laing finds himself in the middle of mounting violence. Violence that he also finds emerging in himself.
Of the new additions, Wheatley says, “I’ve been a fan of Sienna’s since seeing her heartbreaking role in Factory Girl. There’s a steely resilience in her performances, and I know she will be excellent in her central role in HIGH RISE. What can you say about Jeremy Irons? From DEAD RINGERS to MARGIN CALL, Jeremy has been creating indelible performances. He’s one of our finest actors and it’s very exciting to work with him.”