What's Tom Hiddleston Up To in the Next Year? Horror, Biopics & WWI — Oh My!
I don't know about you, but when I hear the phrase "orgy of destruction," I start to perk up a bit. Sure, I've often conjured it to mind upon watching patrons at my local coffee shop subtly try not to sprint for the last raspberry scone — but in this case, the idea entered my morning by way of a casting announcement for the recently-buzzed-about High-Rise, an adaptation of British satirist J.G. Ballard's novel of the same name. Having already snagged Mad Men 's Elisabeth Moss and The Hobbit 's Luke Evans just earlier this week, on Monday the film announced the addition of Nymphomaniac 's Stacy Martin Jones — all of whom join an impressively stellar cast, including Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, and, wait for it, Tom Hiddleston .
Yes, everyone's favorite Avenger (okay, Avenger-adjacent / antagonist) is slated to play Robert Laing, a young doctor new to the the titular building. According to High-Rise 's preliminary descriptions, it seems that in adapting the multi-protagonist novel, the filmmakers have centered on his character as a "fish out of water" way-in for the audience — the Piper to High-Rise's Litchfield, if you will — which means plenty of screentime for Hiddleston if nothing else. No spoilers, of course, but for those who haven't read the book — well, let's just say, if the film does its job right, "orgy of destruction" shouldn't even be the half of it.
High-Rise reportedly starts shooting next week, which means it likely won't be released for some time yet — wringing of hands, rending of garments — but in the meantime, we can at least divert some of our excitement into some of Hiddleston's upcoming projects, which look just about equally excellent.
If there is any phrase almost as exciting as "orgy of destruction," surely it's "gothic horror." Directed and co-written by Guillermo Del Toro (all hail Pan's Labyrinth), Crimson Peak promises to fit the genre to a T: 19th century England, a remote, dilapidated mansion, wan actors with enviable cheekbones (see also: Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain). In fact, speaking of cheekbones, Hiddleston swept in to claim his role only after the austerely-visaged Benedict Cumberbatch dropped out; he will play Sir Thomas Sharpe, new husband to Wasikowska's young writer protagonist, who is perhaps Not All He Appears to Be. Ghosts may or may not make an appearance, too — honestly, I zoned out slightly after seeing that all-black silk / velvet blazer combo. That's more than plenty to haunt a gal's dreams.
Also, for those concerned about a potential Cumberbatch-Hiddleston rift — or, "Hiddlebatch," as I'd prefer they be known from here on out — fear not: The two are just as chummy as ever, with Benedict in full support of the takeover. And speaking of this eminently excellent pair...
This one is still only rumored, but the buzz is strong: Hiddleston and Cumberbatch may well team up WWI-style once again, post-War Horse, to co-star in the film that Prince Andrew himself lobbied to be adapted from its original play form to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the war. As such, producer Guy De Beaujeu has openly called for "the very best actors of their generation to take part," in order to make the film "as attractive to as many people as possible" — and while one may stumble a bit on the ethics of making an attractive, nostalgic war film, flash momentarily on the word "propaganda," etc., if it's simply a question of "best" and "most attractive," there's no need for the pretense of rumor anymore. Sherlock and Loki are their men.
Batman V. Superman
And, in the spirit of rumor / Loki remembrance, it's worth mentioning that Hiddleston is also reportedly up for consideration to play The Joker in DC's upcoming Let's Just Smash These Franchises Together, Shall We? project. It's a loaded role, to be sure, given that Heath Ledger's brilliant turn (followed by his untimely demise) was the last word on the subject — but apparently someone's going to have to do it, and who better than the smirkingly villainous love-to-hate star of Marvel's most recent smash success?
I Saw the Light
When it was announced that Hiddleston would be taking on the role of legendary country musician Hank Williams, not everyone was exactly thrilled — something about Southern twang Americana and a Shakespeare-trained affect not being quite the most appropriate mix, no matter how much the Brit might look like his historic counterpart. But thankfully, it seems this opportunity was not born of appearance alone — like when some insane schmuck thought it might be a good idea for Elijah friggin' Wood to play Iggy Pop, for reasons unfathomable beyond his generally bulge-prone eyes. (Iggy, for his part, recommended Lindsay Lohan.) Hiddleston is reportedly taking his lookalike casting very seriously: As he told the Daily Mail, he's practicing every day with Grammy-winner Rodney Crowell to hone his vocal and guitar skills — even drew some parallels to quell the paranoid contingent. “They didn’t call him ‘The Hillbilly Shakespeare’ for nothing," he said. "It’s a huge role for me and a huge responsibility. I’m going to give it everything I’ve got.”
Plus, now that that's cleared up, Hiddleston's tweeted sneak preview picture proves those looks really don't disappoint.
A Sequel to Only Lovers Left Alive?
Okay, this is 100% wishful thinking on my part, but Hiddleston and guitars makes me long — long — for more screentime devoted to Adam, his morose rocker-cum-vampire characer. Am I the only one who wanted that movie to be maybe 4 hours longer? A miniseries? A 10-season epic, even? As long as he hangs out with Tilda Swinton, maintains that general hairstyle, and drops some more passing references to Jack White, I will quite literally never be bored. C'mon, Jim Jarmusch — there's got to be a cache somewhere of the hours and hours of extra footage you shot, right? Enough for a director's cut? The film reels shipped to my house? Damn you, Hiddleston; this is a serious and potentially unquenchable jones.