For the first time, “Donnie Darko” writer/director Richard Kelly is spilling details about his highly anticipated collaboration with the Arcade Fire for his upcoming horror morality tale, “The Box.”
“They’re just like my favorite band, period,” Kelly tells MTV News. “And I just have always felt that their stuff was really cinematic.” After showing the “Box” script to Arcade songwriter Win Butler, the director and the band traveled to Toronto, where they recorded 80 minutes of original music with a full orchestra, including strings, brass and a rich, polyphonic keyboard called a Mellotron. Singer Régine Chassagne contributed vocal elements to the score.
“Its kind of like [‘Psycho’ composer] Bernard Herman on acid, what they did,” says Kelly. “It’s very lush, and kind of a very bombastic, emotional score. And kind of Hitchcock. It feels like a score from the 1970s.”
The script is also a throwback to a bygone era: it’s adapted from a short story by “Twilight Zone” scribe Richard Matheson. Taking place in 1976, Cameron Diaz and James Marsden play an unhappily married couple who are given a box that, if its button is pressed, will gift the couple with $1 million while—and here’s the sinister moral dilemma—causing the death of one innocent person somewhere in the world.
The film—Kelly’s first since his critically derided “Southland Tales”—has just been completed and will be released in the fall. If all goes according to plan, the Arcade Fire score will see its own release, too. “I think we’re figuring out how to exactly,” says Kelly. “They kind of control everything. I put that in Win’s court because it’s his music, and I just feel really blessed that they were willing to score the film. So it’ll be out there. It’ll be a big release, I’m sure.”
What do you think about the Arcade Fire’s collaboration with Kelly? Do you think “The Box” will end up being closer to “Donnie Darko” or “Southland Tales”?