Richard Kelly is busy revisiting his Southland Tales world at the moment. In the new year, fans of the cult sci-fi movie will finally see the infamous Cannes cut, which heavily re-edited following its debut. But a few years after that film, Kelly’s sophomore effort after Donnie Darko, he attempted to make his most commercial movie with The Box. Now, over a decade after The Box‘s release, Kelly is still interested in releasing a Director’s Cut of his third film.

Based on Richard Matheson‘s short story, the film follows a couple who are presented with a terrible deal: if they press a button on a box given to them by a mysterious man, a stranger dies and they get a million dollars. It’s a great, simple concept, and the film itself is an ambitious sci-fi drama that starts small and then goes big. Originally, Kelly went even bigger. “There is a lot more there,” he told us during a new interview. “There’s probably 45 minutes of scenes that never saw the light of day. Out of all of it, I’d say there could be 10-15 minutes, maybe more with a few additional visuals effects, that could go into that film.”

According to Kelly, most of what was cut was the trippier material. “For me, that was a big Warner Bros. movie,” he said. “My biggest budget. It wasn’t that much bigger than Southland Tales in terms of scope and the sprawling cast, but that was where I finally felt, wow, I’m finally getting to work at a studio. A lot of the stuff that got cut out of The Box was big, eccentric, head-trip stuff. Now, I think all these years later, audiences are a little more open to cerebral sci-fi material.”

A few deleted scenes involve Arthur (James Marsden) and Norma (Cameron Diaz) debating pressing the button, a chase scene with Arthur in the library, and a CG-heavy dream sequence. There was even an eight-minute-long action scene towards the end of the movie hinted at in the marketing materials. “I think it would be really exciting to expand upon the world we were exploring in that film,” he added. “That could happen. I would love to revisit The Box at some point because I do think there is a lot more there, a lot more big science-fiction ideas. There were also a lot of big set-pieces that got cut. Expensive stuff. I was proud we pulled it off and shot it.”

In the meantime, Kelly continues to work on his prequel for Southland Tales, as well as other material he’s written over the years. It’s unfortunate the always ambitious Kelly, who also can’t help but laugh when he describes his future plans for Southland Tales, hasn’t directed a movie since The Box. Fortunately, the filmmaker told us there’s “a lot of exciting things on the horizon.”

“I have so much stuff I’ve been working on,” he said. “There’s been a lot of false starts with things that have almost happened over the years. It’s frustrating, but I’ve just been working and working and adding to my war chest. When finally the first thing happens, it’ll hopefully be a nonstop flow of production. All of the material is there.”

Check back next month for our interview with Richard Kelly about the new Blu-Ray release of Southland Tales.

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