Oliver Hirschbiegel’s “Das Experiment”, based off the events of Dr. Philip Zimbardo’s 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment, is a perfectly watchable movie. It’s thoughtful, intense, well-acted, and only came out eight years ago. But it’s in German so fuck that. Let’s remake it. I won’t call a remake “unnecessary” but had it come out or at least been announced around the time of the Abu Gharib scandal, it may have had a stronger resonance with American audiences as opposed to now when not only has the scandal has “passed” (the Obama administration is still blocking the release of prisoner abuse photos), but our attention is primarily on domestic affairs such as the economy and health care.
At least this remake is bringing some talented actors on board. According to Variety, Adrien Brody, Forest Whitaker, Elijah Wood, and Cam Gigandet have all signed on to star with Paul Scheuring writing and directing since he created “Prison Break” and since this movie is about a prison experiment, that’s good enough.
More after the jump.
For those unfamiliar with the infamous event, it involved undergraduate volunteers being randomly divided into “prisoners” and “guards” and thrown into a “prison simulation” where the guards would have power over the prisoners. Both sides fell so far into their roles that it became both physically and psychologically dangerous with a third of the guards exhibiting sadistic tendencies and some of the prisoners being emotionally traumatized. Scheduled to last for two weeks, the experiment was terminated after six days.
Brody will portray the de facto leader of the prisoners while Whitaker will play a guard who’s corrupted by the power he’s given. No word yet on what roles Gigandet or Wood will play. I pray that those involved will understand that while the material they’re working is dramatic, they should probably play it restrained in order to maintain tension. Or go loud and obvious because even reading German subtitles is anathema to American audiences.