Donnie Darko 2 sounds like the kind of sequel that no one would ever expect to happen. The 2001 cult film is one of the most unique and fascinating films to come out in this millennium, and a follow-up feels like it would be wildly out of left field. Well, writer/director Richard Kelly has never been one to take the safe or expected route, and it looks like he has been hard at work at crafting some kind of continuation of this truly bizarre and one-of-a-kind movie.
Speaking to ComingSoon.net, Kelly was asked about Donnie Darko 2 and said that there was “an enormous amount of work completed” on the sequel. “I’m hopeful that we might get to explore that world in a very big and exciting way.,” Kelly continued. It should be noted that Kelly has specifically said that this follow-up would be in the same universe as the original film, so it is possible that this planned sequel is less a direct sequel and more of a parallel story that takes place in the same world as the first film.
Does this mean that Donnie Darko 2 (or whatever it ends up being called) would not see any returning cast members or characters from the first film? That movie sported a truly astonishing cast that included Jake Gyllenhaal, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Mary McDonnell, Jena Malone, Seth Rogen, Drew Barrymore, Patrick Swayze, and many other talented actors. Would this new film ignore the established characters completely or would we see some of them return for this new movie?
It should be noted that there already is a Donnie Darko 2. Well, sort of. S. Darko was a sequel that released in 2009 and followed Samantha Darko, the youngest sister of Donnie. However, Richard Kelly was not involved with that movie at all and has completely disowned it. That seems to be the consensus from fans as well. S. Darko has some truly abysmal ratings from audiences on IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes. Needless to say, it looks like S. Darko would not be any part of what Kelly wants to do with this potential sequel.
Donnie Darko 2 could end up being something of a redemption story for Richard Kelly himself. He has only directed three feature films over the course of his career and only Donnie Darko seems to have cultivated a positive reaction from most people. However, his speculative science-fiction film Southland Tales is beginning to get serious reappraisal thanks to a new cut being released on home video. Kelly has even said he would love to work with Dwayne Johnson again on a sequel to that film. And less is even said about his mind-bending film The Box, though it deserves another look as well.
We will have to wait and see if Richard Kelly is able to get Donnie Darko 2 off the ground. Hopefully, he can do that or at least get another directing project out into the world. Kelly is a truly individual artist and the world could use his voice in the filmmaking world.