In 2001, Hollywood saw the emergence of a powerhouse sibling duo in Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal when they appeared alongside each other in the 2001 film Donnie Darko. While it was neither of their Hollywood debut, the film has achieved cult-classic status amongst film fanatics and helped excel the careers of both actors at a young age. While both have achieved plenty in the 20 years that have passed since the film’s debut however, not everyone is quite keen on letting the Donnie Darko character slip out of Hollywood’s memory quite yet. Amongst those fanatics includes the original film’s director Richard Kelly, who was left hungry for more by past attempts to revive the original film’s allure and has been urged by others to pursue that hunger; now, he is opening up about the potential of an upcoming sequel.
Though young and his career still ripe, Jake Gyllenhaal delivered a masterful performance when he played the mentally ill teenager Donnie Darko in the 2001 film. So masterful that while Kelly makes the rounds doing interviews for the Blu-Ray release of his 2006 film Southland Tales, virtually every interviewer has been virtually obligated to ask about the Darko franchise and a potential sequel. In an interview with ComingSoon, Kelly alluded to progress made on a potential sequel while remaining tight lipped about anything specific: “Well, I’m probably not allowed to say anything more than there has been an enormous amount of work completed. … we’ll see what happens. But a lot of work has been done.” Kelly has remained steadfast in his progress, alluding to the fact that the bulk of the writing has essentially been completed, it is seemingly up to powers greater than Kelly now to bring this work to fruition.
While Donnie has not been seen on the silver screen in two decades, a previous attempt to return to the Darko universe was made with 2009’s S. Darko. Seven years after the death of Donnie, the film picks up with his now 18 year old sister Samantha on a cross-country road trip that attempts to match the mystique of the 2001 film. The film more or less failed in that regard, however it was missing two key pieces: Donnie Darko himself, and Richard Kelly at the helm of director. Kelly isn’t the only director who is hungry to return to the franchise however, as he highlighted in another interview that James Cameron urged him to return to the 2001 cult-classic: “I started explaining it all to him, and he pointed at me and said, ‘You should keep working on that.’” While Cameron’s blessing isn’t a guarantee, with a billion dollar movie under his belt with Avatar, suffice to say he might know what he is talking about; if so, Donnie Darko might return to theaters sooner than most expect.