Late last year I was casting about for a good book to read, and I inquired on Facebook which J.G. Ballard book is the right one to start with. (I read The Atrocity Exhibition many years ago.) DM’s own Tara McGinley weighed in with alacrity, urging me to try High-Rise, which I directly went and did. I found it just tremendous, and I kept running into Ballardian resonances of the novel while I was reading it, news stories and the like. It’s a marvelous, anomic novel, counterintuitive in all its surface premises and yet emotionally and psychologically true every step of the way.
According to Wikipedia, “For over 30 years, British producer Jeremy Thomas has wanted to do a film version of the book. It was nearly made in the late 1970s, with Nicolas Roeg directing from a script by Paul Mayersberg.” Instead Thomas ended up producing David Cronenberg’s 1996 adaptation of Ballard’s Crash instead.
Ballard fans can rejoice (or cringe) at the news that a high-profile version of High-Rise is officially in the works. Director Ben Wheatley, whose last two efforts were A Field in England and the pitch black comedy Sightseers, today tweeted that principal photography on High-Rise is now set to begin in June. Wheatley is also directing the first two episodes of the upcoming season of Doctor Who, so he is being entrusted to introducing audiences to Peter Capaldi in the main role.
Starring as Dr. Robert Laing in High-Rise is Tom Hiddleston, best known for playing Loki in the Avengers movie franchise. This adaptation of High-Rise is likewise being produced by Jeremy Thomas.
HIGHRISE. shooting June. Starring Tom Hiddleston! pic.twitter.com/ue66t3rWbT— mr_wheatley (@mr_wheatley) February 5, 2014
High-Rise is a formidable challenge for any director, and we’ll just have to wait and see how well it comes out. Certainly, if we can judge by the poster art, we have substantial reason for optimism.
Here’s a peculiar “adaptation” of High-Rise by Mike Bonsall executed in Google SketchUp:
via Den of Geek