After ten long years in development, The Stanford Prison Experiment movie is finally making progress. Back in August we heard that the first three cast members had joined the psychological thriller: Billy Crudup, Ezra Miller and Michael Angarano. After a brief absence from the film community radar, the project has stepped up its game with the addition of six new actors.
If the title rings a bell, that might be because it’s based on the shocking true story that took place in 1971. In what was deemed a landmark experiment, a cluster of 19 and 20-year old students were divided into two groups; one would pose as prison guards, the other group as the prisoners. The experiment was originally planned to last two weeks, as an exercise in monitoring the behaviour of each set of students. Alas, it never made it that far, as the sheer sadism and cruelty adopted by the “guard” students was too excessive. This basic premise has been borrowed in fiction before, across movies and books, but this will be the first time the movie has the blessing of experiment designer, Dr. Philip Zimbardo (set to be played by Crudup.)
With such a lot of bodies required to pull off a big-screen version, there’s bound to be a scramble for juicy roles. Courtesy of Deadline, we’ve now got half a dozen new recruits set to take part in Zimbardo’s deranged act. Dredd‘s Olivia Thirlby has signed on to star as Zimbardo’s wife Christina, who may be there to act as the voice of reason. Alongside her will be True Blood‘s Nelsan Ellis, who’s snagged the part of Jesse Fletcher. Tye Sheridan (Mud), Johnny Simmons (Frank And Cindy) and Ki Hong Lee (The Maze Runner) will all play “prisoners,” while The Drop‘s James Frecheville has been cast as one of the “guards.”
With an absolute stellar crop of rising talent, it’s safe to say we should expect great things. It’s certainly not the lightest of material, and it’ll likely push most of the actors into a series of dark and uncomfortable zones in order to wring out true-to-life performances, but my hopes are definitely high for this one.
Directing the pic is C.O.G. helmer Kyle Alvarez, with Tim Talbott handling scripting duties.
Who do you think will crack, and who do you think will survive The Stanford Prison Experiment? Sound off below!