Adrien Brody will do battle against killer extraterrestrials on the big screen in this weekend's Predators, but moviegoers will have to watch his starring turn in The Experiment at home. The film will not receive a run in theaters - and will be released directly on DVD and Blu-ray come September 21st.
The Experiment is a remake of the 2001 German film Das Experiment, which itself was based off Mario Giordano's book Black Box. The plot of the original novel was inspired by the 1971 Stanford prison experiment and revolves around 26 men who are assigned the role of either guard or prisoner in a simulated prison setting that tests the effects of power and control on their psyches. Needless to say, things get out of control.
Despite Brody's presence, as well as fellow Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland), the film has struggled for several months to find a U.S. distributor. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has at last agreed to release the flick straight to DVD/Blu-ray - forgoing a theatrical release entirely.
Predators will undoubtedly do solid business at the box office weekend, but that has more to do with the popularity of the franchise - not Brody's name. When you also remember that both of the previous films to star Brody and Whitaker (Splice and Repo Men, respectively) were essentially financial flops, the lack of studio confidence in The Experiment is a bit more understandable.
In the end, despite being a relatively low-budget production, the brutal and disturbing nature of the events that transpire in The Experiment probably made the film an impossible sell to major studios. So, it could still end up being a worthy title to check out on DVD or Blu-ray, if only to see both Brody and Whitaker (hopefully) bring their A-game to what sounds like an intriguingly dark horror thriller.
The Experiment arrives on DVD and Blu-ray on September 21st, 2010.