Shoot on JG Ballard adaptation to begin in June.

Thor star Tom Hiddleston is to play the lead role in Jeremy Thomas-produced High-Rise.

As previously reported by Screen, Ben Wheatley will direct Amy Jump’s adaptation of JG Ballard’s classic British thriller.

HanWay is handling sales and will be shopping the film at the European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin this week.

High-Rise centers on a new residential tower built on the eve of Thatcher’s England, 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.

Hiddleston will play Robert Laing, a young doctor seduced by the high-rise and its creator, the visionary architect Anthony Royal. Laing discovers a world of complex loyalties, and also strikes up a relationship with Royal’s devoted aide Charlotte.

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.

Ben Wheatley said:  “I am very excited to be working with Tom Hiddleston on this project. He is the perfect Laing to me. He brings an intelligence, vulnerability and humour to his roles, be they art-house or blockbuster that will make Laing come alive. It’s also a great privilege to be working with Ballard’s seminal book.”

Tom Hiddleston added: “I can’t wait to work with Ben. He is one of the most inspired directors in the UK, and he brings with him impeccable taste, courage, wit and singular brilliance: the perfect combination to realise the ambition of J. G. Ballard’s unique vision.

“I’m greatly looking forward to working again with Jeremy Thomas and Recorded Picture Company, after a fantastic experience together on Only Lovers Left Alive with Jim Jarmusch. It’s a huge privilege to be asked to collaborate on this brave and daring piece of work”. 

Hiddleston will next be seen in Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak. He is currently starring in the title role of Coriolanus in the West End.

Also on HanWay’s slate are Slow West starring Michael Fassbender from See-Saw Films; Sundance Award winners 20,000 Days on Earth with Nick Cave; God Help The Girl starring Emily Browning from director Stuart Murdoch and producer Barry Mendel, and Adam Wingard’s Sundance hit The Guest starring Dan Stevens.