The Stanford Prison Experiment tells the true story of a 1971 psychology experiment. Twenty-four out of seventy-five male students were chosen to be part of a study where they were randomly assigned the role of either prisoner or guard in a lock-up simulation that took place in the basement of the Stanford psychology building. As the trailer makes clear, the experiment quickly escalated out of the professor’s control.
The film stars a who’s-who ensemble of young male actors including Michael Angarano (Red State), Ezra Miller (Perks of Being a Wallflower), Tye Sheridan (Joe), Johnny Simmons (Jennifer’s Body), Thomas Mann (Fun Size), Keir Gilchrist (It’s Kind of a Funny Story), Ki Hong Lee (The Maze Runner), Moises Arias (The Kings of Summer), Nicholas Braun (Prom), and Jack Kilmer (Palo Alto), as well as Olivia Thirlby (Juno), James Wolk (You Again), and Billy Crudup (Almost Famous) as famed Professor Philip Zimbardo.
The indie was directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez (C.O.G.) working from a screenplay by South Park writer Tim Talbott. The film premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival where it won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award and the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize and also picked up distribution from IFC Films.
The Stanford Prison Experiment will be released on July 17th. See the official trailer below which portrays the tense atmosphere of humanity at its edge.