EXCLUSIVE: Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller join Tom Hiddleston on RPC satire.
Jeremy Irons and Sienna Miller have joined Tom Hiddleston on Jeremy Thomas’ anticipated JG Ballard adaptation High-Rise from Sightseers and Kill List director Ben Wheatley.
Oscar-winner Irons, who will also shoot Zak Snyder’s Batman vs. Superman this year, will play a visionary architect while the in-demand Foxcatcher star Miller will play his devoted aide who strikes up a relationship with Hiddleston’s character Robert Laing.
Production is due to get underway in July in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on the project, which HanWay is shopping in Cannes.
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.
Additional casting is underway on the project scripted by Wheatley’s wife and regular collaborator Amy Jump. Backers include Film4, Northern Ireland Screen and the BFI, which has committed more than £1m to the project.
Thomas said: “I’m excited to adapt another Ballard book, whose books are full of so many ideas, and to be working with Ben and Amy, Tom, Jeremy and Sienna, and working with Ben and the cast in a movie like this is why I love producing films.”
Wheatley added: “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.”
Previous adaptations of Ballard’s work include RPC’S controversial drama Crash, directed by David Cronenberg, and Steven Spielberg’s epic, six-time Oscar nominee Empire of The Sun.
HanWay’s Cannes slate includes Everything Will Be Fine from director Wim Wenders starring James Franco and Rachel McAdams; Last Days in The Desert starring Ewan McGregor; Brooklyn starring Saorise Ronan and Domnhall Gleeson; Todd Haynes’ Carol starring Cate Blanchett and Mia Wasikowska; and Slow West starring Michael Fassbender from See-Saw Films.