The writer/producer/director James Gunn has made a name for himself in recent years thanks to his wildly popular Marvel Cinematic Universe entry Guardians of the Galaxy. The 2014 film took a group of lesser known Marvel Comics characters and brought them together in live-action on the big screen — earning praise from critics, Marvel fans, and casual moviegoers alike, in addition to performing well at the box office.

However, prior to his blockbuster MCU film, Gunn was perhaps better known for his lower budget, more indie fare like the 2006 horror movie, Slither, or 2010 comedy, Super — both of which he wrote and directed. Now, Gunn is getting back to his roots with the upcoming horror/action flick, The Belko Experiment, which he wrote and produced. After teasing its arrival earlier this week, the full-length trailer for The Belko Experiment has been released.

Gunn debuted The Belko Experiment trailer on YouTube [see above], which lays out the basic premise of the film. Belko is a non-profit organization “that facilitates American companies in South America,” and it appears its employees are happy — that is, until an ominous voice over the building’s loudspeaker announces the workers will be forced to kill each other, lest the company kill even more. What ensues is a tense horror flick featuring a violent Hunger Games-style office massacre.

Belko Experiment Belko Experiment Red Band Trailer: James Gunn’s Office Hunger Games

The cast of The Belko Experiment features a handful of faces Guardians of the Galaxy fans may recognize, including Yondu actor Michael Rooker, Gunn’s brother and Kraglin actor Sean Gunn, as well as Mikaela Hoover, who played Nova Prime’s assistant. Additionally featured in the cast of The Belko Experiment are Tony Goldwyn (Scandal), John C. McGinley (Scrubs), Adria Arjona (Pacific Rim: Maelstrom), John Gallagher Jr. (The Newsroom), and Melonie Diaz (Fruitvale Station) among others.

Wolf Creek director Greg McLean helmed The Belko Experiment, joining the project in 2015 as it began to move forward after the script had been stuck in development for many years. The film premiered at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival in September, where it received mixed reviews; it was later announced The Belko Experiment will debut in wide release in March 2017.

Certainly, comparisons to The Hunger Games are bound to come up with regards to The Belko Experiment considering its violent premise and the necessity for the characters to kill each other within a confined space. But, as evidenced in the full-length trailer, Gunn’s office horror film is more reminiscent of Battle Royale, the Japanese novel-turned-film about junior high students forced to fight to the death. Still, no matter how Gunn was inspired — or whether the movie ends up resembling The Hunger Games, Battle Royale, or neither — The Belko Experiment trailer seems to promise a tense thriller and plenty of violent action.

The Belko Experiment opens in U.S. theaters on March 17, 2017.

Source: James Gunn

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