High-Rise TIFF
Courtesy of TIFF

Magnolia Picture has acquired U.S. rights to “High-Rise,” a darkly comic look at social castes that had its world premiere at this year’s Toronto Film Festival.

It plans to release the picture in 2016 through its genre arm, Magnet Releasing. Magnet has a history of working with “High-Rise” director Ben Wheatley, having previously handled the rollout of his first film, “Down Terrace.”

“I’m very excited about working with Magnet again,” said Wheatley. “They have the brains and the balls to handle the crazy beast that is ‘High-Rise.'”

“High-Rise” has a top-shelf cast that includes Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans and Elizabeth Moss. It documents the outbreak of class warfare in a giant residential apartment block following a series of power outages. J.G. Ballard’s 1975 sci-fi novel of the same name inspired the film, and “High-Rise’s” heavy dose of sex and savagery made it one of the buzzier titles at Toronto. Wheatley has a cult of fans for his previous films, such as “Sightseers” and “A Field in England,” that were hailed for their transgressive energy.

In a statement, Magnolia President Eamonn Bowles praised Wheatley for bending genres and argued that the story remains “as exciting and relevant today” as it did when Ballard wrote his book four decades ago.

The film was produced by Jeremy Thomas. Executive Producers are Peter Watson, Thorsten Schumacher, Lizzie Francke, Sam Lavender, Anna Higgs, Gabriella Martinelli, Christopher Simon and Genevieve Lemal. Nick O’Hagan and Alainee Kent are co-producers. Amy Jump, Wheatley’s wife, wrote the script. Film4 developed and financed the film.

The deal was negotiated by Magnolia Senior VP of Acquisitions Dori Begley and Magnolia VP of Acquisitions John Von Thaden, with HanWay Films on behalf of the filmmakers.

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