Indie director Ben Wheatley has secured Tom Hiddleston as the lead for his adaptation of J.G. Ballard's High Rise.
10 Feb 2014 - 12:23 PM  UPDATED 10 Feb 2014 - 1:33 PM

The director Ben Wheatley is one of the most fascinating young filmmakers in Britain, quickly producing a handful of distinct and unhinged works, whether they be the bloody thriller Kill List, the black comedy Sightseers, or the recent festival circuit entry, the 17th century psychedelia of A Field in England. The low-budget artist takes a step up in size and cast with his work, an adaptation of J.G. Ballard's blistering 1975 novel High Rise, where a swank London apartment building soon becomes a bloody closed environment where minor aggravations spark fighting between the residents of different floors, who abandon society for primitive clan battles and, eventually, cannibalism.

As Robert Laing, a young doctor who becomes seduced by the increasingly savage existence, Wheatley has cast Tom Hiddleston, the English stage actor unexpectedly anointed the villain of choice in the Marvel Universe with the Thor movies and The Avengers, as well as starring in Steven Spielberg's War Horse and Terence Davies' The Deep Blue Sea (pictured). Now Wheatley just needs to find the right Wilder, the charismatic provocateur who helps unleash the chaos. Hiddleston will next be seen as a vampire in Jim Jarmusch's Only Lovers Left Alive, with a small role to boot in The Muppets Most Wanted, before joining the all-star cast – Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), Charlie Hunnam (Pacific Rim) and Mia Wasikowska (Stoker) – of Guillermo Del Toro's horror film Crimson Peak.

Macbeth rounds out cast
Now that the seven week shoot is underway in England and Scotland, the cast for Australian filmmaker Justin Kurzel's adaptation of William Shakespeare's Macbeth is locked away. Joining the Snowtown director's combustible pairing of Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave, X-Men: First Class) and Marion Cotillard (Inception, Contagion) as the treacherous Scottish general and his ambitious wife, are Paddy Considine (In America), David Thewlis (Naked) and Elizabeth Debicki (The Great Gatsby).

Little movie, big names
Eclectic is one way of describing the cast proposed by Werner Herzog for his adaptation of DBC Pierre's 2003 Booker Prize-winning novel Vernon God Little. Bonkers is another. The inscrutably perverse German director has cast 17-year-old Austin Abrams (Gangster Squad) as the titular anti-hero of a story about a teenage American boy who gets caught up in an increasingly macabre world when a friend perpetrates a school shooting, while the supporting cast will include Russell Brand (Get Him to the Greek) as a manipulative journalist, Pamela Anderson (Borat) and former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson (The Hangover). Get Mel Gibson and it will be perfect.

France falls for Michelle Williams

The incomparable Michelle Williams, arresting in everything from Martin Scorsese's grandiosely menacing Shutter Island to Kelly Reichardt's no-budget Wendy and Lucy, will play a young French woman who enters into a love affair with a German officer stationed in her village during the World War II occupation in the European co-production Suite Francaise. Directed by Saul Dibb (The Duchess), the romantic drama co-stars the imposing Belgian star Matthias Schoenaerts (Rust and Bone), Alexandra Maria Lara (Rush), Sam Riley (Control), Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street) and Kristin Scott Thomas (Under the Cherry Moon).