“Box” atmospheres

There’s a new story/photo album piece by USA Today‘s Suzie Woz (a.k.a., Susan Wloszczyna) about Richard Kelly‘s The Box, and the plot details she’s revealed make it sound like the basic Richard Matheson story (which is more or less “The Monkey’s Paw” with variations) has been heavily collateralized.

It takes place in 1976, for one thing. (Why?) James Marsden‘s character works for NASA and has co-workers who wear plaid pants. Marsden is working on the Viking mission to Mars. (Who gives a shit about NASA space missions? The Box is supposed to be a moral tale about middle-class avarice and ambition. What’s going on here?) Frank Langella‘s Arlington Steward (the guy who hands the dreaded “box” to Cameron Diaz early on) has “a command module in a wind tunnel at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.” A command module?
In other words, imaginative conspiratorial elements involving big agencies and ’70s paranoia are being injected into the slender short-story premise. I have this feeling this is going to be Donnie Darko-ish. I can hear the sound of a jet engine crashing through the roof of a house.
The Box is based on Matheson’s 1970 short story “Button, Button.” This is also what the 1986 Twilight Zone episode was called.

  • Noah

    “Who gives a shit about NASA space missions?”
    Classic. Maybe you should wait until you see the movie.

  • http://christiandivine.com christian

    “Who gives a shit about NASA space missions?”
    Gee, me.
    The draft I read long ago was thin, but grippng. Very stripped down which is what Kelly needs.

  • AJW

    “I have this feeling this is going to be Donnie Darko-ish.”
    Are you saying that’s a bad thing, or am i misunderstanding? Isn’t Donnie Darko the basis for your (and anyone’s) Richard Kelly interest/admiration? And isn’t being Donnie Darko-ish better than being Domino-ish or Cannes Southland Tales-ish?

  • BurmaShave

    I suddenly get vibes this movie could be very, very good.

  • http://giantideasblog.blogspot.com/ giantman

    Did you write this post on the way somewhere else? Seems totally out of character, but what do I know. Actually I care about NASA space missions and from what I’ve seen and heard so far, this sounds like it might, stress might, be good. I think we’d all like to see Kelly get back on track and I for one would like to see more science-fiction morality explorations in cinema.

  • T. Holly

    It all sounds very Adam and Eve forbidden fruitish to me, and BTW, Cam D. can play Hil C. in the movie that’ll be based on the book that’ll be written after soon after the election.

  • T. Holly

    after soon after is a time in the twilight zone

  • snoopy_says_bleah

    Said this before, but of all the influences on Donnie Darko, the most obvious (and least seen) was a Twilight Zone ep called “Ring-a-Ding Girl.” In it, a famous actress averts her whole town from getting wiped out in a plane crash that she turns out to be on the whole time. So, Kelly taking on another Twilight Zone ep — albeit one from the 80s incarnation — is a return to form.
    Up next for Kelly? “Profile in Silver,” in which a time-traveling Jeff Wells averts the 2009 assassination of President Barack Obama. This sets off a catastrophic chain reaction he can only correct by going back in time to let Hillary Clinton take the bullet instead. For no reason whatsoever, Justin Timberlake shows up to lip-sync Eddie Murphy’s “Boogie in Your Butt.”
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Profile_in_Silver)

  • CarloDennis

    Diaz should play Ellen Barkin’s daughter in something…

  • T. S. Idiot

    “Diaz should play Ellen Barkin’s daughter in something.” She’d better concentrated on staying out of the sun. Girl’s turning into leather.