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Tom Hiddleston cast as lead in film adaptation of JG Ballard's High-Rise

Doctor Who director Ben Wheatley and producer Jerry Thomas are on board

English actor Tom Hiddleston has been confirmed to star in new Doctor Who director Ben Wheatley’s next project, a movie adaptation of JG Ballard’s novel High-Rise.

Hiddleston, 32, is set for the lead role in the film, which follows the lives of an affluent community cut off from society in a luxury block of flats.

Wheatley, also known for A Field in England and Sightseers, announced the news on Twitter and his blog. “Here we go. Can’t quite believe this is happening,” the director wrote, sharing a promotional poster and adding that shooting is due to start in June.

Debauchery, violence and the primal urges of humanity are at the heart of Ballard’s 1975 satire and, with friend of the author Jeremy Thomas producing, the film will remain true to the original.

Wheatley too, is an open fan of Ballard’s writing. “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’,” he said last year.

“The idea is to be true to Ballard. I was born in 1972, 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.”

Ballard, who died in 2009, is famous for his dystopian, sometimes post-apocalyptic visions of modern life. He has had his work adapted for the big screen before, firstly with Steven Spielberg’s multiple Oscar nominee Empire of the Sun in 1987 and again, with David Cronenberg’s Crash, in 2004.

Set in England like the novel is, Wheatley has hinted that High-Rise will be “challenging” like Crash but “not as dark” as his 2011 thriller Kill List.

The poster for High-Rise starring Tom Hiddleston