As Comic Con approaches, we’ll be learning more and more about what we can expect at this year’s geek fest.
First up, I’ve learned that Derrick Comedy’s Mystery Team will not only have a booth on the convention floor, but will be holding a panel and a special sneak preview screening at the con. No word on the exact dates. Writers/stars Dominic Dierkes, Donald Glover, and DC Pierson, producer Meggie McFadden, and director/editor Dan Eckman will be on hand at the panel debuting an all-new Mystery Team short film. On the convention floor:
Come bust kid criminals with Oakdale’s best eighteen-year-old kid detectives the Mystery Team in their storefront slash crime lab. Meet the filmmakers, take pictures with actual setpieces, and submit a mystery of your own for solving.
Next up, Donnie Darko/Southland Tales director Richard Kelly says he will be making an appearance at the con to promote his upcoming sci-fi thriller The Box, starring Cameron Diaz, James Marsden and Frank Langella. The panel will take place on Friday, July 24th as part of the Warner Bros presentation. Cameron, James and Richard will be in attendance to present a first look at the trailer and “other cool stuff.”
More after the jump.
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Richard Kelly has posted a new update on his blog, and gave a bunch of updates on his new film The Box:
- WB is releasing the film on October 30, 2009. The release date has been shuffling around a bit, but this is common with studios, and everyone feels like this is the best date for the film
- The film is completely finished. Principal photography was completed in March 2008, and it was officially delivered to WB right before Christmas 2008. A March 2009 release was briefly considered, but a Fall 2009 release was always a better fit.
- We shot in Massachusetts and Virginia. The film takes place predominantly in Virginia, 1976.
- The running time is 1 hour 55 minutes long including end credits.
- The film was digitally photographed using the Panavision Genesis camera. In my audio commentary on Tony Scott’s Domino, I mentioned that I would never shoot a 1970s period piece using a digital camera. My position on this changed when I saw David Fincher’s extraordinary Zodiac. It can be done.
- There is more than 300 visual effects shots, which required eight months of post-production. The digital work-flow of the Genesis was essential to completing these visual effects properly.
- Win Butler, Regine Chassagne (of Arcade Fire) and Owen Pallett (Final Fantasy, frequent collaborator with Arcade Fire) recorded more than 80 minutes of score for the film.
- Here is a list of artists whose songs appear in the film: GRATEFUL DEAD, DEREK & THE DOMINOS, WILSON PICKETT, THE MARSHALL TUCKER BAND, SCOTT WALKER
- The official website for the film is www.thebox-movie.com – it will unveil sometime this summer.
- This is my most personal film to date, and I’m very proud of how it turned out.
Walt Disney Pictures has announced a July 16th 2010 release for the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced Jon Turteltaub-directed family adventure film The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Marvel recently moved Thor out of the weekend, but now the Mouse House production will go head to head with Christopher Nolan‘s sci-fi action film Inception. Disney has two other event films scheduled for Summer 2010: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time hits theaters on May 28th and Toy Story 3 will be released on July 18th.
Meanwhile, Warner Bros has set The Wachowski Brothers-produced James McTeigue-directed Ninja Assassin on November 25th 2009, up from a TBA 2010. Richard Kelly‘s sci-fi thriller The Box has been moved from November to Halloween weekend, up against Youth in Revolt, and a week after Saw VI.
The good news is that you’re going to be able to see the Sundance Film Festival sensation 500 Days of Summer one week earlier. The bad news is that Fox Searchlight has decided to release the film on Friday, July 17th 2009, the same day that Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince hits theaters. But don’t worry, chances are the initial release will be limited, possibly only Los Angeles and New York, expanding slowly nationwide in the weeks that follow.
Also, according to Box Office Mojo, Richard Kelly‘s Twilight Zone-ish scifi thriller The Box has been moved back from November 6th to November 25th. Probably a good move considering it was originally set to go up against Universal’s The Wolf Man, the Wes Anderson animated adaptation of Fantastic Mr. Fox and Robert Zemeckis’ A Christmas Carol. The film is now set to go head to head with Nine and Old Dogs, but its worth mentioning that the Twilight sequel New Moon is scheduled to hit theaters five days earlier.
Richard Kelly’s new film The Box finished shooting four plus months ago, and the first test screening is supposedly later this week. So we can probably expect to see the movie in theaters in October, November or December, right? Wrong.
According to Collider, Warner Bros is planning a 2009 release for the Donnie Darko director’s ney’s w sci-fi film. Not only that, but the date they are eyeing is over a year away – September 11th 2009. Why are they interested in a date so far away? And why September 11th? Does the date have anything to do with the plot? Not that I’m aware of. Of course, everything could change if the test screening scores are through the roof.
The Box tells the story of Norma and Arthur Lewis (James Marsden and Cameron Diaz), a suburban couple with a young child, receive a simple wooden box as a gift, which bears fatal and irrevocable consequences. A mysterious stranger, 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 cross-hairs of a startling moral dilemma and must face the true nature of their humanity.
Â Last week when it was revealed that a Donnie Darko sequel S. Darko was about to enter into production, we passed along an e-mail with someone we know at Darko Entertainment that assured us that “Richard, Sean, and every ounce of Darko Entertainment are 150% NOT INVOLVED.” Now Richard Kelly has decided to come out of the editing room on The Box to publicly denounce involvement in the sequel:
“To set the record straight, here’s a few facts I’d like to share with you all – I haven’t read this script. I have absolutely no involvement with this production, nor will I ever be involved,” writes Kelly. “I have no control over the rights from our original film, and neither I nor my producing partner Sean McKittrick stand to make any money from this film.”
Kelly says that he has spent the last few months editing The Box, and teases that they have stared “to work with a very famous band who is honoring us with being the first fillmmakers they’ve ever scored a film with.” Any guesses? Expect an announcement sooner rather than later.
I’m a huge fan of Donnie Darko. Richard Kelly‘s debut film is not only one of my favorite films of 2001, but it’s probably somewhere on my list of favorite films of all time. So when I learned this morning that a sequel was being made, I seriously began to doubt my commitment to sparkle motion. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti sequel at all. I’ll be happy to see Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and enjoyed watching Live Free or Die Hard. If the original people are involved, and it doesn’t suck as a movie (forget about comparisons to the original) then I’m in. But that’s where the sequel to Donnie Darko goes wrong.
Apparently the sequel is being made completely without the involvement of Richard Kelly. The press release reads:
“Producers have spoken to Richard Kelly about the project but he is not involved in any official capacity at this stage.”
But I’m guessing that this is just PR speak for Velvet Octopus probably called Richard Kelly, who explained he was not interested in being involved in a sequel. I just sent an email to someone I know over at Darko Entertainment, and they assured me that “Richard, Sean, and every ounce of Darko Entertainment are 150% NOT INVOLVED”. This can’t be good.
“Why do you wear that stupid Woman suit?”
The sequel follows Donnie’s younger sister, Samantha Darko, a role reprised by Daviegh Chase (of such direct to dvd classics as Beethoven’s 5th: Big Paw and the animated Stich! The Movie). The story picks up seven years after the first film and Donnie’s death when his now 18-year-old sister Samantha and her best friend Corey go on a roadtrip to Los Angeles, where along the way they are plagued by bizarre visions. And if that doesn’t sound bad enough, guess what they’re calling it? Donnie Darko 2? Nope. S. Darko! What? They couldn’t even call it Samantha Darko?
But they probably nabbed an unknown filmmaker who has an incredibly unique vision, and ability to think outside of the box. Someone who was discovered in the world of music videos or some other visual medium, right? They wouldn’t have hired a hack to direct the sequel, would they? They have. Chris Fisher, who previously made Nightstalker and Rampage: The Hillside Strangler Murders, will direct.
Producers told ScreenDaily that “Donnie’s not in [the new film] but there are meteorites and rabbits.” Oh, great. The budget is pegged around $10m, and production begins on May 18th. The supporting cast includes Ed Westwick (Son Of Rambow, Gossip Girl), Briana Evigan (Step Up 2) and Justin Chatwin (Dragon Ball). Fox has already nabbed the North American distribution rights. Avoid at all costs.
Earlier this month you got a look at the first photo from Richard Kelly‘s The Box. We followed that up last week with a behind the scenes video segment courtesy of NASA television. And now USA Today gives us our first look at the cast. The new production photo features stars James Marsden and Cameron Diaz as Arthur and Norma Lewis, sitting around the mysterious box.
Update: We have added a bunch of new photos below.
Kelly calls The Box his “first grown-up film” and the article also reveals that the film’s “embellishments include ’70s kitsch, teleporting and the 1976 Viking mission to Mars.” So yes, there is much more to this story than a mysterious box.
The wind tunnel at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA serves as a command module for Frank Langella’s sinister Arlington Steward. “The toy soldiers give an indication of what Stewerd might be up to,” says Kelly.
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 worldâ€¦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.
Discuss: Richard Kelly’s feature debut Donnie Darko was amazing. His follow-up, Southland Tales bombed both critically and financially. Is Richard Kelly a one hit wonder OR could The Box be the return of the great sci-fi morality tale?
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
This Week at NASA has some cool (possibly spoilerish) behind the scenes set footage from Richard Kelly‘s The Box. Kelly shot on location at Langley for the last week of filming. Watch the footage in the player below.
[flv:http://media2.slashfilm.com/slashfilm/trailers/theboxnasa.flv 456 344]
“In the footage you will see brief glimpses of some of the (very large) sets constructed for the film in the large-scale wind tunnel, which has never been used in a motion-picture… until now!” says Kelly.
You can also read more about one of the sets, NASA’s oldest operating wind tunnel, which was officially de-commissioned in 1995, on NASA.gov. Seems to me like there are some very strange locations for a sci-fi film which starts off so very simple. Looks like we know so little about the whole story. Speaking of the story, the first official plot synopsis can be found below.
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.
A mysterious stranger shows up on the doorstep of a desperate married couple’s (Cameron Diaz and James Marsden) home with a mysterious box. If they press the button inside the box, they’ll instantly get the money to save their ailing son, but in exchange, someone, somewhere in the world will die.Â But the temptation to save their dying son becomes too much, and Norma (Diaz) pushes the dreaded button and a gun shot goes off somewhere nearby. Consumed with guilt, Norma must do everything in her power to solve a murder she has knowingly caused. That is the plot synopsis for Richard Kelly‘s new film The Box. Check out the first photo from the film above (please excuse the poor resolution, it’s the best we’ve got).
Kelly exploded onto the scene with the cult hit Donnie Darko, before releasing the highly criticized Southland Tales (which suffered a quick box office death. The Box is Kelly’s first attempt at a mainstream film. It’s an attempt at redemption. Kelly wrote the script based on a short story “Button Button” by Richard Matheson. The story also became the basis for a Twilight Zone episode in the Night Gallery years.
Discuss: Would you press the button to save your (theoretical) dying kid in exchange for the life of a stranger?