Will we finally get Donnie Darko 3, a true sequel to the Jake Gyllenhaal sci-fi classic? Last year, the 2001 thriller Donnie Darko celebrated its 15th Anniversary with a 4K re-release in select U.K. theaters, although it never made it to the U.S. Now that the re-release is available on Blu-ray, writer-director Richard Kelly revealed in a new interview that he does have plans for a true follow-up that will return to this unique universe. While he doesn't offer specifics, the filmmaker explained that it will be even bigger and more ambitious than the original.
"I think there's something much bigger and more ambitious to do in that universe. It's big and expensive and I think there's time to get to that. 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."
While no story details were given in the director's interview with HMV.com, it isn't clear if Jake Gyllenhaal is returning in his title role. In 2009, 20th Century Fox released S.Darko, which focused on Donnie Darko's sister Samantha (Daveigh Chase), set seven years after the original movie. Although neither Jake Gyllenhaal nor Richard Kelly were involved in that film, which was directed by Chris Fisher. Rumors surfaced shortly after that the studio was interested in making a third Donnie Darko movie, which was rumored to have Richard Kelly involved in some capacity, but we never heard anything further about that project. Richard Kelly went onto say that he has a number of different projects he wants to get to first, before Donnie Darko, intending to make up for lost time since he hasn't directed a feature since 2009's The Box.
"I've been working on a lot of different projects. The trouble is they're all very ambitious and expensive so they take a lot of time to get in place. We're being very careful to set things up properly, but I'm planning to make up for lost time and make several movies back to back. It's nice to be able to bring people back to where we started, but I plan to be back behind a camera in 2017."
The original movie is set in October, 1988. In the middle of the night, a man in a monstrous rabbit suit appears to Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal), a troubled teenager living with his family in suburban Virginia, to tell him that the world will end in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds. And so, a cult movie is born. As Donnie's grip on reality weakens, we're drawn into the darkness that lurks underneath the surface of suburbia. Underappreciated upon its initial release in 2001, Richard Kelly's mind-bending film only earned $517,375 in its initial box office run, with a lifetime total of $1.2 million that includes previous re-releases. but no box office data was available for the brief 4K restoration re-release. The supporting cast for Donnie Darko includes Jena Malone, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Daveigh Chase, Mary McDonnell, James Duval, Patrick Swayze, Noah Wyle, Drew Barrymore and Seth Rogen, in his feature film debut. Hopefully we'll hear more from Richard Kelly soon about his long-awaited follow-up to Donnie Darko.