Warner Bros. announced the release date for Richard Kelly’s next effort, The Box, today, and it will hit the multiplex March 20/09.

Is that good? Bad? I don’t know. I do know that I dug the Richard Matheson short story the movie is based on, though. I also know Kelly has his work cut out for him with the story being very slim. It’ll take a lot to expand it into a two-hour feature.

What’s it about?

When a stranger (Frank Langella) shows up on the doorstep of a young, financially-strapped couple (Cameron Diaz and James Marsden), offering them a small box, the young duo is automatically intrigued.; seems if they press a button on the box they’ll receive a very large sum of cash. There is a catch, however (isn’t there always?): every time they press the button to snag some green somewhere someone they don’t know will drop dead. Therein lies the dilemma, of course.

After the failure of what I’ve heard (I still have to get around to seeing it, so I’ll reserve judgment till then) was the incredibly self-indulgent Southland Tales, Kelly’s going to need a hit. Perhaps a spring release to avoid the Goliaths of summer will help this tale find the audience it needs.