The world is anxiously waiting for writer/director James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy 2, but Gunn's taking a brief break from the Marvel universe to go make The Belko Experiment - a movie that Greg McLean (Wolf Creek) is directing, based on Gunn's screenplay. The latter is also producing the film, which is about several employees who become trapped in their office building - when "mysterious forces" command the co-workers to either kill or be killed by each other.
The movie will begin shooting in Columbia early June (next month, at the time of writing this); thus, to help promote the project, Gunn has been making casting announcements via his popular Facebook page. Case in point, Gunn recently revealed that his frequent collaborator Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Walking Dead) will be one of the film's main players - and unlike some of the movie's other characters, Rooker will be a "pretty nice guy," At least, when the "experiment" begins, anyway.
James Gunn, via Facebook, has now revealed five more Belko Experiment cast members: his brother Sean Gunn, Steve Agee, Gail Bean, David Dastmalchian, and Valentine Miele. Many will know Sean Gunn as Kirk Gleason from Gilmore Girls or the Ravager Kraglin in Guardians of the Galaxy, though he also played as Rocket on the set of the Marvel Studios movie. In The Belko Experiment, he will play Marty Espenscheid - a "stoner cafeteria worker [who has] his own ideas about who is behind Belko," according to James Gunn.
As for the rest of the new Belko Experiment cast additions:
- Agee, who had a small role in James Gunn's Super, is playing Marty's best friend, Chet Valincourt.
- Dastmalchian - best known as the kidnapping suspect in Prisoners or one of Joker's goons in The Dark Knight - will play as a character named Alonso 'Lonny' Crane, who's described as "a little slow."
- Bean (a relative newcomer) is playing Leota Hyneck, an employee who attempts to mentor a new hire in the office (Melonie Diaz's character, Dany).
- Miele, who has a long history of working with James Gunn, will portray Ross Reynolds, a "Dutch-speaking sales rep" and family man, who doesn't handle the bizarre situation he's placed into so well.
It's unclear just how well McLean will direct all of the craziness, but Gunn's previous scripts tended to incorporate a solid blend of character, humor, and thrills. That means the "Hunger Games in an office building" premise certainly has potential in his hands. Many of these characters probably won't make it to the credits - or at least we assume so - but given Gunn's history of writing, we're hoping that the characters are memorable while they're still breathing.
The Guardians of the Galaxy helmer has summed up Belko Experiment as a "horror/action/thriller," so we're left wondering just how much humor he'll manage to sprinkle into this presumably violent and twisted movie. Dark comedy is very much one of James Gunn's specialities (see: Slither, Super, etc.), so it's safe to assume this movie will have at least some personality - and it won't be yet another dire and purely serious horror feature.
The Belko Experiment also stars John Gallagher Jr., Tony Goldwyn, Adria Arjona, John C. McGinley, and Owain Yeoman. James Gunn says he'll make additional casting announcements very soon.
Source: James Gunn
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