There's no official date or estimate when "The Belko Experiment" will be released, but before James Gunn worked tirelessly for 48 days straight to complete the script for "Guardians of the Galaxy 2," on March 29, 2015 he wrapped up writing "The Belco Experiment."
It's no accident that I spelled the title two different ways. IMDB and many sites reporting on the film have spelled the title "Belko," while a photograph of James Gunn holding his competed script has it written "Belco." There are many sites referring to the spelling as it reads on Gunn's script. If you search for either, you'll find plenty of articles using both spellings.
James Gunn claimed the film came to him in a "dream" and when he woke up he began to write the first draft, which he finished in a two-week binge. He said the story he wrote "has the heart and humor my films have all had, [but] it is also the most intense and uncompromising script I've ever written." Just in case you needed a little more motivation to see this James Gunn written film!
The film is based on a company in South America called American Belco, the story is about this company being mysteriously locked down at the beginning of the day and 83 of its employees are forced to decide to kill each other or to be killed themselves. Of course with a threat like that, as seen in a much less gruesome way in Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight" when Heath Ledger's Joker tries to prove a point in making a similar threat to two different boats full of people. In this film, Gunn is writing a story to show the true nature of many of the characters in this harsh situation.
If you've seen "The Walking Dead" television series on AMC over the past few years, you'll have been exposed to a character named Merle, played by Michael Rooker. After James Gunn used Rooker in "Slither", "Super", and "Guardians of the Galaxy" films, he decided to use him again, this time in the lead role in "The Belko Experiment". Rooker has been known to play very intense and violent characters, so on the surface this role looks to be perfect.
James Gunn is showing both audiences and studios his talents in creating interesting stories filled with equally interesting characters. There's no doubt after his biggest film in "Guardians of the Galaxy" that audiences will be in lingering anticipation for his sequel but furthermore has established himself as a premiere writer unique to fans. His uniqueness? Fans love Gunn, because Gunn is giving fans what they want, attention. You can find Gunn frequently giving his time to fans on various social media forums which is one of the most fan-pleasing things anyone in his position could do. Sure, there might become a day when it becomes so overwhelming there just might be a decrease or even a halt to those interactions but from the perspective of the nerd community he's a huge rock star. I want James Gunn to autograph my man-boobies.
Gunn has handed off the Belko-ball to director Greg McLean, who hasn't added too much to his directorial filmography but his film "Wolf Creek" did give pleasure to half of the film critics out there who described the film as an excellent horror film, specifically praising his characters. Gunn described McLean as having "honesty in film" and "naturalistic style". He added: "I don't know if I've ever related to another filmmaker's sense of aesthetics and love of film more." Many of the haters of the film complain about various horror-related features of the film. Whether they're complaining about motives, cliché, or simply describing the film as "very unpleasant", the man can make characters interesting, which seems to match up very well with James Gunn's priorities. Gunn simply found a director who's established in the horror genre who has the ability to create interesting characters to take this seemingly suspenseful and likely horrific story to the big screen. It'll be interesting to see both Gunn's written work and McLean's significantly greater opportunity in "The Belco Experiment".