Maverick Films has set an April start date for “Stanford Prison Experiment,” which Christopher McQuarrie (“The Way of the Gun”) will direct.
Drama is based on an infamous human behavior study that took place in the early ’70s.
Pic package consists of the rights and characters who participated in the original Stanford experiment conducted by Prof. Philip Zimbardo. Also part of the package is “The Lucifer Effect,” a book by Zimbardo to be published next year.
The experiment studied the psychology of incarceration, and a group of undergrads took on the roles of prisoners and guards. Within 24 hours, the guards resorted to psychological torture and humiliation — some of it sexual — and the inmates staged an uprising.
The subject has long fascinated Hollywood, and several projects had been in the works inspired by the incident; McQuarrie and Maverick have been mobilizing theirs since 2004. (Oliver Hirschbiegel’s fictional 2001 German film “The Experiment” was loosely based on the incident.)
Paris-based Wild Bunch has been set to handle foreign sales, and L.A.-based Arsenal will handle domestic distribution arrangements.
McQuarrie and Tim Talbott wrote the script. Maverick’s Mark Morgan and Brent Emery will produce with McQuarrie. Guy Oseary and Tara Pirria are exec producers.
The film budgeted by $11 million, will begin casting immediately.
McQuarrie is repped by Ken Kamins’ Key Creatives and Maverick by Arsenal and CAA.