Over the years, we’ve seen our share of good American remakes of foreign films (“The Ring,” “Insomnia”) as well as some not-so-good ones (“The Eye,” “Dark Water,” “The Lake House”) that left a bad taste in our mouths. Recently, Cam Gigandet wrapped up his work on another high-profile translation to our shores, this time of “The Experiment,” and he promised us it will fall into that earlier category.
“I just finished a movie in Iowa called ‘The Experiment’ with Adrien Brody and Forest Whitaker,” the “Twilight” star said of the remake, which also stars Maggie Grace and Clifton Collins Jr. “We shot that in Iowa, in Des Moines, and that was a blast.”
Although it’s based on the acclaimed 2001 mind-bending German movie “Das Experiment,” the film is coming home in a morbid way. “Experiment” dramatizes the tale of a 1971 series of tests conducted on 24 undergraduates in the basement of a building at Stanford University, as they played the roles of guards and prisoners in a mock prison. Six days after the experiment began, conditions had deteriorated to the point of sadistic and humiliating treatment of the “prisoners,” leading to riots and severe emotional disturbances.
“It’s a retelling of the Stanford prison experiment that happened in the ’70s,” explained Gigandet, who plays one of the test subjects. “It’s a great little indie, and it was really fun.”
“It was a tough shoot,” he revealed. “I mean, we were in the middle of nowhere in a jail cell. But, it should be good.”
And for fans of the German film, Gigandet was quick to insist that his “Experiment” (written and directed by “Prison Break” mastermind Paul Scheuring) will walk a fine line between honoring the original and taking it to the next level of madness.
“It’s similar; it’s a much more real version,” insisted Gigandet. “It’s much dirtier. It’s grittier. Yeah, it’s not as Hollywood-ed up. It’s very dark and dirty.”
Are you excited for a remake of “Das Experiment,” or more nervous?