Recently I caught a documentary about the Stanford Prison Experiment, a controversial study that put some student volunteers into the position of prisoners and some into the position of guards. Within 24 hours the whole situation went to hell, and the footage taken of the actual experiment looked more than a little like what happened at Abu Ghraib – prisoners in stress positions, prisoners with bags on their heads, and guards sadistically humiliating them. The experiment, which was supposed to last two weeks, was shut down after six days.
The experiment has been the basis of a film in the past, most recently Das Experiment, a fantastic German movie that was supposed to be remade in the US. It seems that someone has beat that film to the punch – Maverick Films has announced that Christopher McQuarrie, who wrote The Usual Suspects, will be directing a film based on the true story, as well as the upcoming non-fiction book The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil.
The 11 million dollar film won’t be McQuarrie’s first crack at directing – he previously helmed The Way of the Gun, which I know some of you out there liked. You’re more forgiving than I am.