Ben Wheatley to direct JG Ballard's High-Rise

A Field In England director's next project revealed...

Total Film favourite Ben Wheatley is to direct an adaptation of JG Ballard's High-Rise. If you've read the book, this is absolutely the most exciting movie news you'll hear all day.

Ballard's book fits perfectly with the Kill List director's sensibilities.

So much so that we would have totally included him in the High-Rise entry on this list of 9 JG Ballard Stories That Must Be Filmed if we hadn't written it in 2009. 

In that piece, we said of the possible adaptation: 'We can’t imagine the finished film will contain every violent scene in the book, because if it did, it would be the bleakest film ever made. And one of the most darkly brilliant.'

Which sounds up Wheatley's street to us. 

An extremely subversive satire, High-Rise examines a community cut off from society in a luxury building, who gradually divide themselves into violent tribes as a result of their isolation.

Wheatley told Screen Daily “I love Ballard’s work. This project started out with me looking at my bookcase, seeing the book, and thinking: ‘that would make a great film’.

“I started looking into who had the rights for the book and that led me to Jeremy, who has made some of my favourite films. It took me a few meetings just to get over the typewriter he has from Naked Lunch in his office.”

“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.

“I was born in 1972, three years before the book was written, so one of the attractions of the film was that I kind of imagine myself as one of the kids running around on the estate and my parents as the adults.”

“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.”

It really is - and we trust Wheatley to include those moments. Dog lovers may need to look away at certain points.

We genuinely couldn't be more excited for this one.

So much so we're writing this news story on our phone, as we've already started queuing at the cinema.  

Excited? Tell us!


    • RossyD

      Aug 29th 2013, 11:55

      Ben Wheatley is without a doubt one of my fave directors at the mo. I genuinely get excited about what he's going to do next and this sounds pretty awesome. Absolutely loved Kill List.

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    • GarthMarenghi

      Aug 29th 2013, 13:36

      That's terribly sad news. Vincenzo Natali has been developing High Rise for years, hasn't he? He's a much, much better director than Wheatley. I wonder why he dropped the project after all this time? Has funding finally come through for Neuromancer?

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    • thedanieljson

      Aug 29th 2013, 15:29

      Awesome, seen all his films so far and they've all kept me thinking for weeks after. Such source material deserves his uncomprimising and artistic approach to film making.

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    • Ali1748

      Aug 29th 2013, 16:11


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    • TheNextBigThing

      Sep 11th 2013, 16:57

      UGH. Spent three months writing my screenplay for this book.. because I loved it so much. Guess we'll see how my amateur version marks up beside Wheatley's.

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