The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a 2008 American fantasy romantic drama film directed by David Fincher. The storyline by Eric Roth and Robin Swicord is loosely based on the 1922 short story of the same name by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The film stars Brad Pitt as a man who ages in reverse and Cate Blanchett as the love interest throughout his life. The film also stars Taraji P. Henson, Mahershala Ali, Julia Ormond, Jason Flemyng, Elias Koteas, and Tilda Swinton. Producer Ray Stark bought the film rights to do the short story in the mid-1980s with Universal Pictures backing the film, but struggled to get the project off the ground until he sold the rights to producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall in the 1990s. Although it was moved to Paramount Pictures in the 1990s, the film did not enter production until after Fincher and Pitt signed on along with the rest of the cast in 2005. Principal photography began in November 2006 and wrapped up in September 2007. Digital Domain worked on the visual effects of the film, particularly in the process of the metamorphosis of Pitt's character. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was released in North America on December 25, 2008 to positive reviews from critics, who praised Fincher's directing, Pitt's performance, production values, and visual effects. The film was a box office success, grossing $335. 8 million worldwide against its $167 million budget.