FIRST LOOK

First Look: James Marsden and Cameron Diaz in The Box

by
February 27, 2008
Source: USA Today

Richard Kelly's The Box

Last week we showed you the box, now it's time we actually see James Marsden and Cameron Diaz in Richard Kelly's The Box. USA Today has the first look photos from the upcoming sci-fi thriller, and although they're quite mild, at least it will strike up some interest. First things first, I did not know that this was set in the 70's, but I do dig Marsden's outfit and tie, and Kelly even says that it "include[s] '70s kitsch, teleporting and the 1976 Viking mission to Mars." Holy crap, what, teleporting? Is this Jumper 2 already? I think not! Updated! Check out the multiple photos and more from Kelly below.

Donnie Darko director Richard Kelly calls The Box his "first grown-up film" and finally admits that he hopes "to make a more mainstream popcorn film" this time around, in comparison to his two previous films: Donnie Darko and Southland Tales. Let's just get right down to it - here are The Box's two stars, James Marsden and Cameron Diaz, as Arthur and Norma Lewis.

Update: We've found a number of additional photos from the film, including a menacing looking Richard Kelly at the bottom.

James Marsden and Cameron Diaz in Richard Kelly's The Box

Richard Kelly's The Box

Richard Kelly's The Box

Richard Kelly's The Box

Richard Kelly's The Box

"The toy soldiers give an indication of what Steward might be up to," says Kelly bout the Army men that sit atop a glass etching of the Pentagon. The filmmaker, who claims to have OCD when it comes to props, would adjust the figurines just so before each shot. "Frank, just to tease me, would knock over five or sox," he says. "I want every frame to look just right, like a still life."

Richard Kelly's The Box

Based on the short story by Richard Matheson, "The Box" stars Cameron Diaz as Norma Lewis and James Marsden as Arthur Lewis, a suburban couple with a young child who receive a simple wooden box as a gift, which bears fatal and irrevocable consequences. A mysterious stranger, played by Frank Langella, delivers the message that the box promises to bestow upon its owner $1 million with the press of a button. But, pressing this button will simultaneously cause the death of another human being somewhere in the world…someone they don't know. With just 24 hours to have the box in their possession, Norma and Arthur find themselves in the crosshairs of a startling moral dilemma and must face the true nature of their humanity.

Despite being heavily inspired by Richard Matheson's 1970 short story "Button, Button", apparently Kelly only used that as his "jumping-off point" and dives into many more yet unknown areas of mystery and morality. Considering this is Richard Kelly, it's more than likely there will be a sci-fi touch as well as some fairly deep ideas like time travel. Although he was given a $30 million budget to work with this time around, Kelly feels that they "don't feel like we are watering ourselves down" with story.

If that's not enough, Frank Langella, who stars in the film as the creepy guy who delivers the box, compares Richard Kelly to a young Steven Spielberg.

"Richard is in a league of his own," the veteran actor says. "He has sort of an extraterrestrial creature running around in his head. That is what Steven Spielberg was like as a young boy."

I'm impressed Langella can even recall what Spielberg was like as a young boy. Especially considering Langella is 70 years old and Spielberg is 61 and they've never worked together on a movie. But nevertheless, that's an incredibly complimentary comment, at least I think. Having an extraterrestrial in his head is creepy, but if that means he's a creative genius, then so be it. I'm really hoping Kelly actually pulls of a great movie this time and mainstream moviegoers come to recognize him for the brilliant filmmaker that he is. So far everything still sounds promising, if not incredibly interesting, and I can't wait to see what Kelly has put together.

The Box is being distributed by Warner Brothers and does not have a release date set but is expected to be out later in 2008.

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  • Stephen
    Looks pretty good.
  • I usually don't care for Kelly's films but this sounds as if it could be good.
  • TheGuyInThePJ's
    Looking forward to this quite a bit... Here is a link for a 2nd article at USAToday about "The Box" production: http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/news/2008-02-26-box-side_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip ""It's one of those rare scripts, like Being John Malkovich and VanillaSky," Diaz says. "I had never read anything like it before. It's not just 'Should I push a button?' There are so many layers and something very personal to Richard."
  • Sparklight
    Wow. This film is based on one of the "New Twilight Zone" shows, circa 1980. --Where a couple is given a box (which looks almost exactly like the one pictured above), and given the directive, "Press the button, receive a briefcase full of cash and somebody who you do not know will die." The couple ponder this puzzle for a while and decide to press the button. They are promptly awarded a briefcase full of cash, and the strange man who gave them the button takes it away again saying, "It will be reset and given to somebody else. Don't worry. It will be given to somebody who you do not know." (Woo woo wooooooo!) It was a simple sci-fi/horror story which made for a very cool 20 minute Twilight Zone episode. I don't know how well it will as a full 90 minute theatrical release, but I'll probably watch it out of interest. On DVD.
  • seriously the most disturbing movie i've ever seen. pretty good though, considering the plot.
  • not bad movie,

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