Prolific as he is, Ben Wheatley's films to date generally haven't featured much in the way of star power, but it was only a matter of time until bigger names started circling his work. Indeed, his next effort will find Loki himself coming along for the ride.
Tom Hiddleston has joined Wheatley's upcoming "High Rise." An adaptation of J.G. Ballard's novel, with a screenplay by Amy Jump, the story takes place in "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." The actor will play Robert Laing, a young doctor, who is introduced to the secret world of the high rise by its architect Anthony Royal, but becomes disturbed by what he sees, while tension rises among the tenants, who are breaking out into tribal factions. Frankly, this sounds awesome, and production is expected to start later this year. [ScreenDaily]
Rodrigo Garcia, the writer/director behind "In Treatment," as well as features like "Albert Nobbs" and "Mother And Child," has assembled the promising quartet of Ewan McGregor, Tye Sheridan, Ciarin Hinds and Ayelet Zurer for his next effort, "Last Days In The Desert." The intriguing tale will find McGregor playing dual roles, a holy man and a demon, on a journey through the desert as "an encounter with a family struggling to survive in this harsh environment forces the holy man to confront his own fate." Production will begin later this month, with lensing handled by Emmanuel Lubezki, who reteams with Garcia fourteen years after they worked together on "Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her." [ScreenDaily]
"Game Of Thrones" actor Kit Harington has joined "Testament Of Youth" opposite Alicia Vikander. Based on the memoir by Vera Brittain, and set to be directed by James Kent ("The White Queen"), the film tells the story of a young woman who "postponed her studies at Oxford to serve as a nurse in the Great War, during which she lost her fiance and brother. After the war, she tried to resume her life but found herself part of a lost generation, returning to Oxford and becoming a feminist and a writer." Production will get underway this spring. [THR]
The trio of Octavia Spencer, Quvenzhane Wallis and Diane Kruger have joined Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried and Aaron Paul in Gabriele Muccino's "Fathers And Daughters." The story will follow "a famous novelist and widower who struggles with mental illness in 1988 as he tries to raise his 5-year-old daughter" while "the 30-year-old daughter in present-day Manhattan battles the demons that stem from her troubled childhood." Pre-production is already underway on this one. [Variety]
Lastly, Freddie Highmore ("Bates Motel") and veteran character actor James Nesbitt will star in the teenage love story/road trip flick "My Name Is Emily." Simon Fitzmaurice will make his debut feature with this one, telling the story of Emily, who on her 16th birthday, "escapes from her foster home and with the help of Arden, the boy who loves her, sets out to find her father, Robert, a visionary writer locked up in a psychiatric institution." Production will start this summer. [Variety]