Cube (film series)

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Directed byVincenzo Natali
Andrzej Sekuła
Ernie Barbarash
Yasuhiko Shimizu
Written byAndré Bijelic
Graeme Manson
Vincenzo Natali
Sean Hood
Ernie Barbarash
Koji Tokuo
Distributed by
Release dates
CountriesCanada (1997–2004)
Japan (2021)
LanguagesEnglish (1997–2004)
Japanese (2021)

Cube is a Canadian science fiction horror film series. The films were directed by Vincenzo Natali,[1] Andrzej Sekuła,[2] Ernie Barbarash[3] and Yasuhiko Shimizu respectively.

The films are centered, with slight variations, on the same science-fictional setting: a gigantic, mechanized cubical structure of unknown purpose and origin, made up of numerous smaller cubical rooms, in which most or all of the principal characters inexplicably awaken in the opening scenes. Each of these rooms has six heavy vault doors, one on each face of the cube, which lead into adjacent, largely identical rooms, differing occasionally by colour of lighting. Some of these rooms are "safe", while others are equipped with deadly booby traps such as flamethrowers and razorwire. In some cases it is possible to detect a trap by throwing an object into the room first, although this method is not always reliable due to the trigger mechanism of certain traps.

In each case, a group of strangers awakens in this mysterious structure, without any knowledge of how or why they are there. In order to escape from the prison, they must band together and use their combined skills and talents to avoid the traps and navigate out of the maze, while also trying to solve the mystery of what the cube is and why they are in it.

An American remake, currently on hold, is in development at Lionsgate,[4] and a Japanese produced remake was released in 2021.



The world in which the Cube series is set is kept secret from the viewer of the films throughout. The first Cube, in particular, portrays nothing of the world in which the film is set, who is responsible for the Cube, or why the prisoners are there. Hints are, however, given throughout the second and third films. The film's writer, Vincenzo Natali, apparently wrote a script detailing the world outside the Cube, but destroyed it after deciding not to create a film about it. The plot devices used in Hypercube and Cube Zero (IZON and the government) are likely not (or only very loosely) related to Natali's original idea.

The first film is especially most ominous about the outside world; there is no indication of where or when the Cube was built, nor the timeline of it (although it is generally assumed to be present day). Although the main characters are presumably North American due to their speaking English with typical North American accents, there is no evidence of the Cube being built in the U.S. However, in the second film, a U.S. Colonel displays knowledge of the first Cube's existence and layout. The Colonel is referring to the Cube in the first film and not the prequel because he mentions a feature specific to that Cube.

The second film reveals that a company named IZON is responsible for the Cube. Several exterior shots indicate that it is set in present time. The Cube's disturbing nature and the sheer impossibility of it being a physical construct (since it is technically an endless tesseract) make the location ambiguous. Furthermore, IZON is a private company, but the presence of the aforementioned Colonel and his knowledge of the Cube suggests that the U.S government is involved, or are perhaps trying to take it down.

The third Cube film shows its personnel, consisting of management (known as "people upstairs") and technicians who operate the Cube and oversee the people placed inside. All people trapped in the Cube are death row inmates with their memories deleted and who willingly signed in to be placed inside instead of being executed. The Cube appears to be operated by a repressive, totalitarian government. At one point, when one technician finds no consent form of a woman trapped inside, it shows that the government also imprisons political opponents inside against their will (the technician finds her picture in a newspaper showing her at a political protest). It is also implied in this film that a character from the first film, Kazan, may not actually be autistic and is possibly a victim of the same treatment Eric Wynn received: Having his brain surgically altered so his behavior resembles that of a stereotypical autistic savant).


Cube (1997)[edit]

Cube, the first film in the series, follows a group of seven frightened strangers who find themselves trapped in a bizarre maze of cubical rooms, with no memory of how they arrived there.[1] Searching for a way out, they soon discover that many rooms contain lethal booby traps, while others are safe. Initially the prisoners band together in an attempt to escape, but one of the prisoners then begins to turn insane and threatens the group's escape. Despite the film's low budget, it achieved moderate commercial success and has developed a cult following due to its surreal, Kafkaesque setting.

Cube 2: Hypercube (2002)[edit]

Cube 2: Hypercube is a sequel to the film Cube.[2] The dusky, dingy rooms of the first film are replaced with high-tech, brightly lit rooms, and the conventional technology of the original traps are replaced with threats based on abstract mathematics. A new group of prisoners quickly discovers that, unlike the original Cube, the rooms in their prison appear to shift instantaneously. They realize they are inside a hypercube in which gravity, space, and time are distorted. This time the prisoners each have a connection to the cube's suggested creator.

Cube Zero (2004)[edit]

Cube Zero is a prequel to the film Cube.[3] Unlike the first two films, which were limited to the prisoners' point of view, the film concerns two characters, Eric Wynn and Dodd, who are technicians observing the prisoners. Wynn finds himself caring about the fate of Cassandra Rains, a woman in the Cube, and decides to risk his job and even his life to help her try to escape. The rooms are similar to the original film, except that the colors are not as bright as in the first film.

Cube (2021)[edit]

A Japanese remake, also called Cube, was released in October 2021.[5]


In 2011, Lionsgate was reported to be taking pitches for a new film titled Cube 3D, though nothing came of the effort.[6]

In April 2015, The Hollywood Reporter wrote that Lionsgate Films was planning to remake the film, under the title Cubed, with Saman Kesh directing, Roy Lee and Jon Spaihts producing and a screenplay by Philip Gawthorne, based on Kesh's original take.[7][8] Development on the film stalled the following year, leaving its future uncertain.[9]

Cast and crew[edit]

Principal cast[edit]

Character Original series Remake
Cube Cube 2: Hypercube Cube Zero Cube
1997 2002 2004 2021
Kazan Andrew Miller   Zachary Bennett (as Eric Wynn) Hikaru Tashiro (as Chio Uno)
Quentin McNeil Maurice Dean Wint   Takumi Saito (as Hiroshi Ide)
Joan Leaven Nicole de Boer   Anne Watanabe (as Asako Kai)
David Worth David Hewlett   Masaki Suda (as Yuichi Goto)
Dr. Helen Holloway Nicky Guadagni   Masaki Okada (as Shinji Ochi)
Rennes Wayne Robson   Kōtarō Yoshida (as Kazumasa Ando)
Alderson Julian Richings   Tokio Emoto (as First Man)
Kate Filmore   Kari Matchett  
Simon Grady   Geraint Wyn Davies  
Sasha / Alex Trusk   Grace Lynn Kung  
Jerry Whitehall   Neil Crone  
Max Riesler   Matthew Ferguson  
Colonel Thomas H. Maguire   Bruce Gray  
Mrs. Paley   Barbara Gordon  
The General   Philip Akin  
Julia Sewell   Lindsey Connell  
Becky Young   Greer Kent  
Dr. Phil Rosenzweig   Andrew Scorer  
Tracton   Paul Robbins  
Dodd   David Huband  
Cassandra Rains   Stephanie Moore  
Jax   Michael Riley  
Meyerhold   Mike "Nug" Nahrgang  
Jellico   Terri Hawkes  
Ryjkin   Jasmin Geljo  
Quigley   Diego Klattenhoff  
Robert P. Haskell   Martin Roach  
Bartok   Richard McMillan  
Owen   Tony Munch  
Finn   Joshua Peace  
Anna   Alexia Filippeos  
Male Doctor   Fernando Cursione  
Female Doctor   Araxi Arslanian  

Prisoners details in each film[edit]

Cube (1997)[edit]

Name Occupation Gender Prison connection Played by
Kazan Unknown, possibly former cube technician Male Kazan prison in Russia Andrew Miller
David Worth Architect Male Leavenworth Prison in the U.S.A. David Hewlett
Quentin McNeil Police officer Male San Quentin State Prison in the U.S.A. Maurice Dean Wint
Joan Leaven Mathematics student Female Leavenworth Prison in the U.S.A. Nicole de Boer
Dr. Helen Holloway Free clinic doctor Female Holloway Women's Prison in the U.K. Nicky Guadagni
Rennes Prison escapist Male Centre pénitentiaire de Rennes in France Wayne Robson
Alderson Unknown Male Alderson Federal Prison Camp in the U.S.A. Julian Richings

Cube 2: Hypercube[edit]

Name Occupation Gender Played by
Kate Filmore Psychotherapist / Soldier Female Kari Matchett
Simon Grady Private detective Male Geraint Wyn Davies
Alexandra "Sasha" Trusk Computer hacker Female Grace Lynn Kung
Rebecca "Becky" Young IZON technician Female Greer Kent
Julia Sewell Attorney Female Lindsey Connell
Max Reisler Computer game designer Male Matthew Ferguson
Mrs. Paley Retired theoretical mathematician Female Barbara Gordon
Jerry Whitehall Engineer Male Neil Crone
Colonel Thomas H. Maguire Colonel Male Bruce Gray
Dr. Phil Rosenzweig Scientist / Author / Nobel Prize nominee Male Andrew Scorer

Cube Zero[edit]

Name Occupation Gender Played by
Eric Wynn Junior cube technician Male Zachary Bennett
Dodd Senior cube technician Male David Huband
Owen Senior cube technician Male Tony Munch
Chickliss Junior cube technician Male N/A
Cassandra Rains Political protester Female Stephanie Moore
Jax Senior cube supervisor Male Michael Riley
Robert P. Haskell Cube soldier Male Martin Roach
Meyerhold Unknown Male Mike "Nug" Nahrgang
Jellico Unknown Female Terri Hawkes
Bartok Unknown Male Richard McMillan
Ryjkin Unknown Male Jasmin Geljo
Chandler Unknown, possibly doctor Female Sandi Ross
Smith Unknown Male Dino Bellisario
McCaw Unknown Female Ashley James

Cube (2021)[edit]

Name Occupation Gender Age Played by
Yuichi Goto Engineer Male 29 Masaki Suda
Asako Kai Staff employee Female 37 Anne Watanabe
Shinji Ochi Freeter Male 31 Masaki Okada
Chio Uno Middle school student Male 13 Hikaru Tashiro
First Man Prisoner Male Unknown Tokio Emoto
Hiroshi Ide Mechanic Male 41 Takumi Saito
Kazumasa Ando Company executive Male 62 Kōtarō Yoshida

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Gates, Anita (September 11, 1998). "Cube (1997) FILM REVIEW; No Maps, Compasses Or Faith". The New York Times. Archived from the original on March 13, 2018. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Hal Erickson (2013). "Cube 2: Hypercube". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2013-11-13.
  3. ^ a b Jason Buchanan (2013). "Cube Zero". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2013-11-13.
  4. ^ "'Cube' Reboot 'Cubed' Being Developed by Lionsgate". Screen Rant. 30 April 2015. Archived from the original on 16 May 2017. Retrieved 27 May 2017.
  5. ^ Schilling, Mark (February 1, 2021). "Shochiku Confirms 'Cube' Remake in Japan". Variety. Archived from the original on February 1, 2021. Retrieved February 1, 2021.
  6. ^ "Lionsgate Wants to Return to the Cube". ShockTillYouDrop. Archived from the original on 2011-03-15. Retrieved 2011-04-25.
  7. ^ Kit, Borys (30 April 2015). "Lionsgate to Remake Cult Sci-Fi Hit 'Cube'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 6 October 2015. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
  8. ^ Lesnick, Silas (30 April 2015). "Lionsgate Plans Cube Remake, Cubed". Archived from the original on 21 April 2017. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  9. ^ Kennedy, Michael (March 24, 2020). "Everything We Know about Cube 4". Screen Rant. Archived from the original on December 8, 2022. Retrieved December 8, 2022.

External links[edit]