​watch the first trailer for 'high rise,' jg ballard's dystopian sci-fi drama

Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons and Sienna Miller are set to star in the adaptation of Ballard's 1975 book, which has eerie parallels with the gentrification of London today.

by Ryan White
|
14 December 2015, 7:02pm

As more of London's iconic buildings fall into the hands of greedy developers, J.G. Ballard's High Rise -- the story of the residents of a block of luxury flats -- takes on new meaning 40 years after its release. The film adaption, directed by Ben Wheatley and starring Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons and Sienna Miller, is scheduled to be released on March 18, 2016, and the first trailer has just arrived.

Formatted as an advertisement for the titular block rather than a traditional trailer, the short segment features a calm yet ominous voiceover describing the benefits of living within the high rise. In a time when the rhetoric surrounding London's luxury housing developments has become obsessed with notions of 'affluence', 'ambition' and 'idealism', for many young city dwellers the real fear arises not from the menacing undertones of the clip, but from the reality of the situation. "There is almost no reason to leave," the narrator states, as visions of the proposed South London housing block with a floating swimming pool, or the newly developed Battersea Power Station, float through viewers' minds.

In the book, released in 1975, the block of apartments is divided into lower, middle and upper class: a literal reflection of where each class lives within the building. In 2015, this sounds somewhat familiar.

But segregated housing wasn't Ballard's only prediction. Read how he predicted the advent of social media in a November 1987 issue of i-D

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Culture
trailer
tom hiddleston
j.g. ballard
High Rise
Jeremy Irons
sienna miller