Before he takes a return voyage to the deepest reaches of space, James Gunn is taking a side trip to his old stomping grounds of horror for The Belko Experiment. But don’t worry about him getting lonely, as he’s bringing along Guardians of the Galaxy star, frequent collaborator, and buddy Michael Rooker along for the ride.
Gunn is a big fan of social media, and posted a photo of himself and Rooker on his Facebook page announcing this latest team up. His message read:
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.
While Gunn wrote the script for The Belko Experiment, and will serve as a producer on the picture, he will not be directing this particular film. Those duties fall to Greg McLean, who is most known as the helmer of the Wolf Creek movies. Rooker joins a cast that already includes Tony Goldwyn, Melonie Diaz, John Gallagher Jr., and John C. McGinley.
The film follows 83 American expatriates who live in Sao Paulo, Brazil and work for the Belko Corporation. At some point they become trapped in their place of employment, where a voice over the loudspeaker orders them to start killing each other unless they themselves want to be killed. It sounds like a set up for not only gore, violence, and terror—all things right up both Gunn and McLean’s particular gritty alleys—but for some potentially intriguing moral questions and quandaries as well. And because Gunn handled the script, you can rest assured that there’s going to be some of his trademark biting humor.
Rooker is set to play a man named Bud Melks, who serves as the head of maintenance at the Belko building, and sounds like just a normal working man. In fact, Gunn describe him as a "pretty nice guy," and as nothing like Merle, Rooker’s racist redneck character on The Walking Dead. Gunn also notes that Melks doesn’t a magic, whistle-guided arrow like Yondu in Guardians of the Galaxy, which would probably come in handy when mysterious outside forces are trying to get you to murder your coworkers. Bummer for him.
Shooting is set to begin early next month in Bogotá, Columbia, and Gunn has said that he hopes to get another draft of the Guardians of the Galaxy 2 script hammered out before he heads South. Rooker is also set to reprise his role as Yondu in Guardians 2, and will reportedly play an important part yet again.