Twilight star to play William Shatner in Stanley Milgram film

William Shatner

Kellan Lutz, the actor known for roles in Twilight and the upcoming Legend of Hercules, is to play actor William Shatner in Experimenter, a biopic about psychologist Stanley Milgram.

In Milgram's famous 1961 experiment exploring obedience, ordinary members of the public were made to inflict what they believed were painful electric shocks to other human subjects. In thrall to the orders of those leading the experiments, many participants ended up administering major shocks of 450 volts to the subjects, even when they could hear screams of pain – though in reality, there were no shocks being administered.

Shatner portrayed Milgram in a 1970s TV movie, hence his appearance in the film, while Milgram himself will be played by Peter Saarsgard. Other cast members include Winona Ryder, Anton Yelchin, and Taryn Manning as a rebellious participant. Its director is Michael Almereyda, who is still best known for his film version of Hamlet starring Ethan Hawke in 2000; he and Hawke, along with Yelchin, are returning to Shakespeare in a forthcoming adaptation of Cymbeline, co-starring Dakota Johnson and Milla Jovovich.

Lutz meanwhile, who played one of the vampiric Cullen clan in the Twilight movies, continues to portray alpha males: as well as recently voicing Tarzan and taking the lead in Renny Harlin's The Legend of Hercules, he also completed filming on the forthcoming Expendables 3 alongside a raft of 80s beefcake.

Powered by article was written by Ben Beaumont-Thomas, for on Tuesday 1st July 2014 11.28 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010