EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has optioned the 1962 J.G. Ballard novel The Drowned World for Heyday Films. Harry Potter series producer David Heyman and Jeffrey Clifford will be the producers for Heyday, and Warner Bros’ Jon Berg is overseeing it.
The deal comes right after the 50th anniversary of the book, which is set during 2145 and imagines a terrifying world in which solar radiation has melted the ice caps. Jungles have overrun continental Europe, and London is for the most part left submerged under water. The protagonist is a biologist who lives on the 35th floor of a high-rise, where only two floors sit above the water line. He battles a savage environment, and primordial creatures that prowl the undergrowth. Oh yeah, and there are also the Mad Max-like anarchists who rule the city and terrorize its inhabitants.
Ballard was certainly ahead of his time on the perils of global warming, and this sounds like an intriguing visual setting for a post-apocalyptic thriller. The producers will look to secure a writer quickly.
Ballard’s previous novel to film adaptations include the David Cronenberg-directed Crash, and the Steven Spielberg-directed Empire Of The Sun.