Have some violent fun with a The Belko Experiment claymation short
Director Greg McLean (Wolf Creek) and writer/producer James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy) are well aware that nothing goes together quite like hardcore violence and claymation. That’s why today sees the arrival of a special Belko Experiment claymation short that you can check out in the player below! The animation hails from The ABCs of Death‘s Lee Hardcastle and, judging from the video’s title, we may at least one more Belko Experiment claymation short arriving soon.
The Belko Experiment explores a twisted social experiment, in which a group of 80 Americans are locked in their high-rise corporate office in Bogata and ordered by an unknown voice on an intercom system to participate in a deadly game of kill or be killed.
The cast for The Belko Experiment includes John Gallagher Jr. (Short Term 12), Melonie Diaz (Fruitvale Station), John C. McGinley (Office Space), Tony Goldwyn (Scandal), David Dastmalchian (The Dark Knight), Gail Bean (Unexpected), Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy), Valentine Miele (Super), Sean Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy), Mikaela Hoover (Super), Josh Brener (Silicon Valley), Rusty Schwimmer (Louie), Joe Fria (Speedwagon), James Earl (The Lazarus Effect), Brent Sexton (The Killing), Stephen Blackehart (Tromeo and Juliet), David Del Rio (Pitch Perfect) and Ben Davis (Red Dead Redemption).
What do you think of The Belko Experiment claymation spot? Would you like to see more claymation shorts from the film? Are you going to check this one out on the big screen? Let us know in the comments below!
Michael Rooker as Bud Melks
We’ve done three movies, two reality shows, a video game and a web series together, been on a bromantic trip to Paris with just the two of us, and spent many nights as the last two maniacs at a party, so did you ever think there was any possibility that my pal Michael Rooker would not be cast in our horror/action/thriller The Belko Experiment, especially when it’s been comprised of such overwhelming talent? Of course not.
Rooker plays Bud Melks, the head of maintenance in the Belko building. He’s not a racist thug like Merle in The Walking Dead, and he doesn’t have a flying arrow like Yondu in Guardians of the Galaxy – in fact, he’s a pretty nice guy – so he’s ill-equipped to deal with the mysterious forces who start making all of the employees in Belko start killing each other unless they want to be killed themselves.
John C. McGinley as Barry Norris
I know when I think of John I often think of Bob Slydell from Office Space. Fortunately, in that film, the characters only had to murder each other spiritually, and not physically as they do in Belko.
John may be most recognized from Scrubs, but he’s an eerily dexterous actor who can do almost anything and has shone in any role he’s been given – he most recently got rave reviews for his performance in Glengarry Glen Ross on Broadway with Al Pacino and Bobby Cannavale.
John will play Wendell Dukes, one of the top execs at Belko, and longtime friends with Tony Goldwyn’s character, Barry Norris. Wendell is a bit socially awkward, and has never been at home with the other employees at Belko… I’m not sure his social problems will be eased much when mysterious forces start compelling them to kill one another or be killed.
From Office Space to Scrubs to Glengarry Glen Ross to Belko, John just may be the lucky totem for stories told in the workplace. I know we’re lucky to have him on board.
Melonie Diaz as Dany Wilkins
Have you guys seen Fruitvale Station? Well, I have, and I adored the movie. And one of the things I adored about it the most was the lead actress, Melonie Diaz. Her honest performance was exactly that kind of thing we were looking for for The Belko Experiment. So when she said she was interested in playing Dany Wilkins, one of the leads of the film, I jumped up and down and punched my desk and some trash cans and my assistant Simon with pure joy.
Dany is the new girl at Belko. It’s her first day working in the building, and she really couldn’t have chosen a worst first day, since this is the day the employees are all forced to either kill each other or be killed. (When I was nineteen I worked at Denny’s. On my first day the manager pressured me into trying a Moons Over My Hammy. That was pretty bad, but not as bad as this.)
Tony Goldwyn as Barry Norris
He’s the President of the United States on Scandal and now he’s the C.O.O. of the Belko Corporation – I’m excited to announce The Belko Experiment’s second official cast member, Tony Goldwyn.
Tony will play Barry Norris. Norris is a guy who is used to being in charge at the Belko Building in South America, so it isn’t easy for him to start taking orders when the office employees are mysteriously forced to either start killing each other or be killed.
The Belko Experiment is an action-horror-thriller, but it’s important to me and the director Greg McLean that it’s first and foremost about characters – which is why we needed to get the best actors possible. I’ve been a big admirer of Tony’s talent for a long time. He’s an outstanding actor with an incredible pedigree, and we couldn’t have asked for a better person to join myself, Greg, my fellow producer Peter Safran, and actor John Gallagher, Jr. on this journey.
John Gallagher Jr. as Mike Pelk
A couple years ago John Gallagher Jr. auditioned for me for a role. You might know him from his fantastic work in the movie Short Term 12 or on the TV show The Newsroom. He didn’t get the role that day – he wasn’t right for the part – but when he walked out of the room I turned to the casting director and said, “That’s one of the best actors I’ve seen in my life, and perhaps the best audition I’ve ever seen.” I became determined to find a way to work with him.
Well, I’m proud to announce that day is today, as John will play Mike Pelk, one of the leads of our film The Belko Experiment.
David Dastmalchian as Alonso
David Dastmalchian is a guy I’ve known for a while. We met while both doing cameos in a friends’ film, immediately hit it off, and have wanted to work together ever since. He most recently has joined the Marvel family in Ant Man. And because he’s bi-comic-book curious, he was also the Joker’s henchman in the Dark Knight – joining a very narrow league of actors in both Marvel and DC films. You may recognize him from his awesome role in Prisoners or his great new film Animals. In Belko, he’s Alonso “Lonny” Crane, who works for Michael Rooker’s character in maintenance. He’s a little slow. (Not David, Lonny).
Gail Bean as Leota Hynek
Gail Bean is a woman I just met, but she blew me away in her audition. And meeting her briefly at the table read, I liked her even more. She’s a relative newcomer, but she’s receiving absolute raves for her role in the film Unexpected, which played at Sundance. She’s playing Leota Hynek, who takes the new girl Dany (played by Melonie Diaz) under her wing.
Valentine Miele as Ross Reynolds
And finally, there’s another familiar face for people who know my films. He took the world by storm as Murray Martini in my first ever film Tromeo and Juliet, was the most dickish line-butter ever who more than got what was coming to him in SUPER, and, of course, he played my roommate/life partner/best pal “Val” in Humanzee – Valentine Miele. Someone asked me recently who do you think is the most underrated actor around, and I said Val. He’s a truly talented, charismatic guy. He’ll be playing Ross Reynolds, a family man and Dutch-speaking sales rep for Belko who doesn’t deal well with being forced to kill his fellow employees or die himself. But, then again, who would?
David Del Rio as Roberto Jerez
And, finally, David Del Rio will be playing Roberto Jerez, friends with Gail Bean’s Leota and Melonie Diaz’s Dany in the graphics pool. David was one of the Treblemakers in Pitch Perfect and starred in the Nickelodeon show The Troop. I met David for the first time at the table read – he’s a super great guy in addition to being a wonderful actor. Too bad he, like the rest of these folks, will be forced to kill or be killed in #TheBelkoExperiment.
Mikaela Hoover as Raziya Memarian
Those of you who follow me regularly on Facebook or Instagram know Mikaela Hoover is one of my best friends. We first met on the set of my short Humanzee! and she went on to do roles in James Gunn’s PG Porn, SUPER, and was Glenn Close’s assistant in Guardians of the Galaxy. Well now she’s playing Raziya Memarian, Vince’s assistant, and you’ll all be able to see what an amazing actress Mikaela really is.
Ben Davis as Antonio Fowler
And, finally, another longtime friend, Ben Davis, another actor I met through the Zoo District theater company. Ben Davis is also important in the development of Guardians of the Galaxy, in that he was the common friend between Chris Pratt and I, who vouched for him, and said he wouldn’t let me down. Few people’s words mean more to me than Ben’s, so he definitely bolstered me in fighting for Chris to play Peter Quill, something that wasn’t readily apparent. Ben is an accomplished actor with a shitload of credits, but the coolest to me are he played the voices of Dutch Van Der Linde and Nastas in the video game Red Dead Redemption. Ben Davis plays Antonio Fowler, a guy who is pretty much a dick even before everyone in the building starts killing each other.
Josh Brener as Keith McLure
Josh Brener will play Keith McLure, a hipster tech guy who’s friendly with Mike, John Gallagher’s character. I know Josh as Big Head in HBO’s Silicon Valley, one of my favorite TV shows. You might know him as Dale from Big Bang Theory. All I know is he auditioned for Keith and nailed the mixture of realistic humor and drama the character needed.
Rusty Schwimmer as Peggy Displasia
Rusty Schwimmer is Peggy Displasia, John Gallagher’s character’s secretary. Rusty is a veteran actress who has been in tons of stuff, but may be most recognized by folks on my page as Louie CK’s sister on Louie My brothers and I have been friends with Rusty for a long time. She’s one of my favorite people around and was happy to include her as strong-hearted, strong-willed Peggy.
Joe Fria as Robert Hickland
Some of you may also recognize my pal Joe Fria. Joe is an actor I’ve known all the way back to 2000, not too long after I moved to L.A., and he played the romantic lead to my ex in the play Nosferatu put up by Zoo District. He’s got a great role in the upcoming film Speedwagon, but many of you may recognize him as Joey Bone, the star of the all-singing all-dancing episode of PG Porn, Squeal Happy Whores. Joe will be playing Robert Hickland, a dude frustrated by his mundane life in middle management.
James Earl as Evan
James Earl is an actor I wasn’t familiar with before casting, although you may have seen him in the TV show Ground Floor, or the movies Gridiron Gang or The Lazarus Effect. He was simply awesome, so we gave him the key role of Evan, the sole security guard within the Belko building. Evan is in the ethically precarious situation of having the only gun of anyone within the building, so when people are forced to either kill each other or be killed he has a big decision to make.
Brent Sexton as Vince Agostino
Brent Sexton is an actor I’ve admired for a long time. I first saw him perform in a short film by my friends John Cabrera, Lee Kirk, and my brother Sean called The Man Who Invented the Moon. I loved his performance in that and have kept an eye on him ever since, becoming one of television’s best supporting players in roles on The Killing, Deadwood, Justified, and more. We have never met (we’ll do so this Friday, I suppose), but when the role of Vince Agostino, the head of human resources opened up, I pushed hard that we choose Brent. Because although I’ve seen him on some less-than-great shows, I’ve never seen him be less than great.
Stephen Blackehart as Brian Vargas
Stephen Blackehart – or “Stevie”, as I call him – is playing Brian Vargas, an interpreter at Belko without many ties to friends or family outside of the company. In real life, Stevie plays my actual real-life best friend, and he’s been involved in most things I’ve done in one way or another, from Benny in Tromeo and Juliet to Quill in SUPER, to the Dispatcher Drax Dispatches in Guardians of the Galaxy, not to mention a host of wonderful B-movie roles in wonderful works from Retro Puppet Master to Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus.
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