“KILL LIST’s” Wheatley to direct Ballard’s “HIGH RISE”
JG Ballard’s influential novel about the horrors of an urban landscape has taken a long road to cinemas. Now, one of the most exciting filmmakers going could be the one to bring it to fruition.
Producer Jeremy Thomas (THE SHOUT, Cronenberg’s CRASH), who’s been developing a feature adaptation of HIGH RISE since the late 70s has now joined up with Wheatley and his DOWN TERRACE, KILL LIST, SIGHTSEERS and A FIELD IN ENGLAND co-writer Amy Jump, Screen Daily reports. A fan of the novel about the residents of a luxury building savagely turning on each other, the director approached Thomas and a script “completely changed from previous incarnations” (most likely meaning the Richard Stanley script Vincenzo Natali was attached to helm) by Jump has grown out of the collaboration.
Of his plans for the film, Wheatley says, “The idea is to be true to Ballard. It is such a rich and interesting time that it seemed a shame to set it anywhere other than England.” He adds, “The scope of the film is exciting. It will be challenging, like CRASH, but it’s not as dark as KILL LIST. The book is pretty out there, though.”
In perhaps a bit of full circle, that late 70s version of HIGH RISE was intended for Nicolas Roeg (Thomas and Roeg made BAD TIMING, instead). On Sunday, September 8, Wheatley will host a screening of Roeg’s incredible DON’T LOOK NOW and a Q&A with the director at the Duke of York’s Picturehouse in Brighton, England to celebrate the film’s 40th anniversary. The event is sold out, but you can find more info here. You can also read Wheatley’s essay on DON’T LOOK NOW at The Guardian here.