Richard Stanley Adapting High Rise

For Splice director Vincenzo Natali

Bleeding Cool have just re-posted an interview with Vincenzo Natali they conducted in June, to coincide with the DVD release of the excellent Splice. We (and, it seems, everyone else) missed this nugget first time around, but allow us to belatedly inform you that Hardware and Dust Devil director Richard Stanley is adapting JG Ballard's High Rise for Natali.

"Richard's writing a draft right now," said Natali (so he's probably finished it by now). "For years I had worked on High Rise myself, pretty much alone," continues the Splice-man. "At one point Rudy Wurlitzer [Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid] had written a draft that hadn’t really worked out, and at a certain point, I just felt tapped out. So Jeremy Thomas suggested Richard who he had worked with in the past, and Richard’s come in and he’s really injected new blood into it. I think we’re going to nail it, I think it’s going to be great."

Since the Island of Dr Moreau debacle (his third directorial gig, from which he was fired, only to return to set and hang around in disguise), Stanley has operated very much below the radar with documentaries and online projects, although plans to direct Vacation (an end-of-the-world film that at one time had Bruce Campbell attached) and Donald Cammell's unproduced Bones of the Earth are still percolating.

High Rise then, is an unusually high-profile project for him, compared to recent form. Ballard's 1975 dystopian sci-fi novel takes place in a tower block, which is supposed to be a new and exciting and wonderful home, but ends up isolating and factionalising its residents into all-out war. Fecund ground for an imagination like Stanley's, although it's not clear whether he's taken the same approach that Natali mentioned earlier this year: a "High Rise 2.0", with the events of the novel serving as the backdrop to a new story.

Whatever he's come up with, Natali is confident that it will be "brilliant and amazing... He's an extraordinary character. there aren't many like Richard Stanley." Start dates for High Rise are currently up in the air though: Natali also has the small matter of William Gibson's Neuromancer in development.