He may not be that great a director, but Barry Sonnenfeld is good enough for comedic sci-fi/fantasy fare like the Men in Black and Addams Family movies. When he doesn't have cool production design or special effects to fall back on, he tends to deliver worthless titles like Big Trouble and RV. Of course, he has exceptions: Wild Wild West was an awful effects-driven pic and Get Shorty was a great film without any fantastic elements. Still, we must be thankful that his next project deals with the supernatural. Based on the myth of Pandora's Box, the movie is simply titled The Box, and is about a directionless college graduate who is tricked into opening the infamous container, unleashing the evil out unto the world.

The script is being written by Evan Spiliotopoulos, who penned Pooh's Heffalump Movie (as well as its direct-to-video Halloween-set sequel) and has worked on scripts for other animated pics, including The Jungle Book 2, Tarzan II and Lion King 1½. For the future he's also written an animated version of The Nutty Professor, which features the voice of Jerry Lewis rather than Eddie Murphy, and the animated sci-fi film Terra. Although The Box will be a live-action "summer event film", it is likely to have a lot of the same family-friendliness as his 'toon work (though he also wrote the erotic thriller, Bare Witness). Let's just hope it is isn't as childish as The Garbage Pail Kids Movie, which is also a modern version of the Pandora myth, or as silly as Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, which deals with the box as a threatening archaeological find. It is surprising that there hasn't been a great update of the myth, actually. The Box won't be it; but it should at least be as entertaining as any Sonnenfeld effort. The director is still currently linked to the Zach Braff-co-scripted Andrew Harry's Meadow as his next project, but The Box could be his first priority, as 20th Century Fox is fast-tracking its production.
categories Movies, Cinematical