Donnie Darko blew the minds of an entire generation of young people. Joy Division! 18-year-old Jake Gyllenhaal! Brain-melting rifts in the space-time continuum! A strange spirit guide in a mansize rabbit suit! And perhaps most mind-blowing of all: the fim's director, Richard Kelly, was only 25 when he made the film (on the comparatively tiny, for Hollywood, budget of $7.3 million), and the movie almost went straight to DVD.
Thankfully, it didn't. It got a small cinematic release in 2001 and went on to become a cult classic, recently receiving a beautiful 4K restoration for its 15th anniversary. Now, following the fanatical reception this reissue received, Richard Kelly is hinting that he's working on an official sequel.
In an interview with HMV, the director disclosed, "I think there's something much bigger and more ambitious to do in that universe." He went on to describe his plans for a follow-up film as "big and expensive," but explained that fans may still have to wait a few years. "I think there's time to get to that," he said. "I want to make sure we've got the budget to do it justice and not to compromise anything. Another story in this world needs resources and we need to have that in place. I need to get my next film out of the gate and then we can go back and look at it."
In a strange plot twist, it turns out that Donnie Darko already has a sequel, technically. S. Darko, released to DVD and BluRay in 2009, was directed by Chris Fisher and stars Ed Westwick, of Gossip Girl fame. It was entirely unauthorized and its existence is still very triggering for Richard Kelly. But the official follow-up is bound to be incredible. Judging by the amount of time Kelly has taken to return to the Donnie Darko universe, he is as dedicated to getting the sequel right as this screaming woman is to Sparkle Motion.
Text Alice Newell-Hanson
Still from Donnie Darko