Once readied for adaptation by David Cronenberg (before he decided to move on to another seemingly unfilmable book with Cosmopolis), Martin Amis’ London Fields is now in the hands of first-time feature director Mathew Cullen, who definitely has nothing to lose. Deadline reports that production on London Fields is currently underway, and it boasts the most famous cast for an Amis adaptation yet. Of course, considering that list is limited to The Rachel Papers and Dead Babies, a.k.a. Mood Swingers, that’s not saying much (with apologies to Ione Skye).
Still, Amber Heard is playing Nicola, the manipulative beauty orchestrating her own murder in order to avoid aging; Cloud Atlas’ Jim Sturgess is playing Keith Talent, the darts-and-porn-obsessed hustler; Divergent’s Theo James is playing the married man Nicola sets out to ruin; and Billy Bob Thornton is playing the struggling writer who hangs around to document it all. And so, there’s at least a decent chance of these familiar faces distracting from the fact that London Fields is a dizzying mélange of unreliable narrators and postmodern literary technique—plus some dystopian futurism for good measure—that’s fascinating yet deliberately confusing on the page, and seems like it might turn into a real headache on screen. Though fortunately, as a music video director whose work includes Weezer’s “Pork And Beans,” Katy Perry’s “California Gurls,” and Black Eyed Peas’ “Boom Boom Pow,” Matthew Cullen is already used to that.