James Gunn‘s script for The Belco Experiment dates back to at least 2010, as I remember it being one of his projects in development right when Super was coming out. So he must really love the concept – he calls it the most intense script he’s ever written – if he’s willing to polish the draft up (while writing and prepping Guardians of the Galaxy 2 no less) for Wolf Creek director Greg Mclean to helm. Gunn will also serve as a producer on the horror film alongside genre vet Peter Safran (The Conjuring, Annabelle). The film will shoot in Bogota later this year.
Per Gunn’s Facebook page:
I’m incredibly excited to announce that we’re commencing production on a new film, The Belco Experiment, from my own script. The story revolves around the American Belco company in South America which is mysteriously sealed off at the beginning of a work day, and its employees are ordered to kill each other or be killed themselves. This starts an escalation of violence, where we discover the true nature of each and every Belco employee.
The film will be directed by Greg McLean, who directed the Wolf Creek films, and it will be produced by myself, and Peter Safran, who produced Annabelle and The Conjuring. MGM will be financing. We’re in pre-production now and will be shooting in Bogota, Colombia in early June of this year.
I cannot tell you how passionate and excited I am about this project! It’s a script I wrote a few years ago, for which I have always had a deep love. Believe it or not, it’s a film that first came to me in a dream, and I woke up and wrote the first draft in a two-week fugue state binge.
One of the first people to ever read the script, Jonathan Glickman, carried it around with him for years until becoming President of MGM, when he approached Peter Safran and I about financing it. I was all for it, providing two things: 1) Although it has the heart and humor my films have all had, it is also the most intense and uncompromising script I’ve ever written. It would need to stay true to that. 2) I’d only do it if we found the right director – which, in some ways, I thought was unlikely.
Jon promised we’d make the film with full integrity – and, so far, MGM has – awesomely – been true to their word. And, after a long, concentrated search for a director we came to Greg McLean. Greg shares my philosophy about honesty in film, and his naturalistic style lends itself to Belco. The past few weeks we’ve spent working together have been a joy – I don’t know if I’ve ever related to another filmmaker’s sense of aesthetics and love of film more.
Anyway, stay tuned here on my Facebook page and my other social networking sites, as well as Greg’s Twitter (@GregECP) to follow the process of making the film. We want you guys to be a part of this film as we make it. We’ll announce more casting and crew decisions soon – believe me, plenty of familiar faces will be popping up along the way!
Mclean is a great fit. Wolf Creek and Wolf Creek 2 both have completely different tones so I think he’ll be able to toggle back and forth between traditional horror scares and Gunn’s unique voice quite nicely.