Ben Wheatley to Shoot High-Rise in NI

The acclaimed English director brings his cameras to Bangor and elsewhere from July 2014

English art house filmmaker Ben Wheatley – whose credits as writer and director include the acclaimed thriller Kill List, starring Northern Irish actor Michael Smiley – is to shoot his latest feature film in Northern Ireland.

An adaptation of JG Ballard's classic British thriller, High-Rise will include a key location in Bangor, and will receive funding from the Northern Ireland Screen Fund, supported by Invest NI and part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

The film is from a screenplay by regular Wheatley collaborator Amy Jump, and will star Tom Hiddleston in the lead role, after his success in Hollywood blockbusters The Avengers and Thor: The Dark World.

Wheatley is considered one of the most exciting British directors in a generation, having created a substantial stir with his provocative films Sightseers, Kill List and A Field In England. He recently completed shooting on the new season of Dr Who for the BBC.

High-Rise is slated for a July start, with Jeremy Thomas producing through Recorded Picture Company. HanWay Films are handling international sales worldwide. Financiers include Film4 and the British Film Institute.

'I’m delighted to be shooting this special film in Northern Ireland,' said Thomas, 'with wonderful support from Andrew Reid and all at Northern Ireland Screen. We look forward to a great shoot.'

High-Rise centres 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.

Enter 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.

Richard Williams. Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Screen, added: 'We are delighted to welcome Oscar-winner Jeremy Thomas and his team at the Recorded Picture Company to Northern Ireland.

'Our investment in projects of this nature help develop the Northern Ireland production sector, contributing to the long-term stability of our creative industries, through the creation of jobs and the evidence that Northern Ireland can compete in the global market.'

Visit the Northern Ireland Screen website for more information.