James Gunn to Return to Horror Before Heading Back to Guardians of the Galaxy 2
In case you’re unaware, James Gunn, the director of the huge hit GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, didn’t start off making big-budgeted Hollywood hits. Gunn’s roots are in the horror genre and go all the way back to the heydey of Troma films. Gunn worked for years running errands and learning all about guerrilla filmmaking at the heels of Lloyd Kaufman at got his toes wet as an associate director on the Troma film, TROMEO AND JULIET. He got his first big break as writer-director of 2006’s SLITHER. Now it seems that before Gunn jumps into GUARDIAN OF THE GALAXY 2, he’ll be returning to his roots with THE BELKO EXPERIMENT. Even better is that GUARDIANS star, Michael Rooker, has joined the cast. Gunn made the announcement on his Facebook page:
We’ve done three movies, two reality shows, a video game and a web series together, been on a bromantic trip to Paris with just the two of us, and spent many nights as the last two maniacs at a party, so did you ever think there was any possibility that my pal Michael Rooker would not be cast in our horror/action/thriller The Belko Experiment, especially when it’s been comprised of such overwhelming talent? Of course not.
THE BELKO EXPERIMENT is written by Gunn and will be directed by Greg McLean, the writer-director of 2005’s WOLF CREEK and 2007’s extremely underrated ROGUE. Rooker is joining the cast along with Tony Goldwyn, John Gallagher Jr., and Melonie Diaz. Check out the plot crunch:
A group of 83 American expatriates who work in a building in Sao Paulo, Brazil, find themselves trapped in their workplace; a voice emits over the speaker system, forcing them through a series of murderous moral decisions.
Sounds like a solid set up for some gore and violence (elements that both Gunn and McLean are known for) but there’s also the potential for some moral questions to be explored as well. I’m sure we’ll also get Gunn’s trademarked humor in THE BELKO EXPERIMENT.
Rooker is set to play a man named Bud Melks, the head of maintenance at the Belko building, and is just a normal, blue-collar working guy. Gunn even describes him as a “pretty nice guy,” and doesn’t sound anything like Merle, Rooker’s racist redneck character on THE WALKING DEAD, or his character of Henry in HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER.
THE BELKO EXPERIMENT is set to start shooting in June. We’ll also see Rooker reprise his role as Yondu in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2 and apparently plays an important part.