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High-Rise starring Tom Hiddleston & Luke Evans: The Director’s Sketches

High-Rise: Dr. Laing in red light  All images ©BenWheatley

This is the kind of thing that really excites me. Before a film based on a book comes alive on screen, it comes alive in the mind of a screenwriter and a director. When Ben Wheatley, who started out as an animator, read his wife Amy Jump’s screenplay for High-Rise, he didn’t need to wait for a production designer to come on board, he got out his watercolors and started painting. The results are part look-book, part storyboard.

Tom Hiddleston as Dr. Lang  Photo by Aidan Monaghan

The directing half of the husband and wife director/writer team behind High-Rise starring actor-of-the-moment Tom Hiddleston, Luke Evans, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Elizabeth Moss and James Purefoy shared his sketches with Sight and Sound 
Based on the 1975 sci-fi thriller by JC Ballard, Wheatley says “We didn’t want it to look like the greatest hits of the 70s, but we didn’t want it to feel alien,” Ben Wheatley tells Neil McGlone in the April 2016 issue of Sight & Sound, discussing the visual design of his and Amy Jump’s adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s dystopic satire High-Rise. “I wanted to take those bits of the futuristic 70s and the kitsch stuff and make an alternate version of it.”
The magazine paired sketches alongside several images of the film, which, checking the trailer below, looks fantastic. Please note the Ben Wheatley copyright. 

The director painted 700 images for the film, I nabbed most of them, but several more can be found at Sight and Sound BFI

High Rise Trailer

This is the kind of dystopian sci-fi I really enjoy. I love seeing how we humans respond when the world around us gets a little out of hand. Pitting the haves against the have nots is always a winning trope. Personally, I’m looking forward to reading a novel—fiction, hopefully—about a world gone mad with the coronation of a Trump-like candidate.

High-Rise is out in the U.K. now, here in the U.S. we’re officially getting it April 28th.

Look good to you?