Donnie Darko Director Claims There Has Been a "Lot of Work" Put Into a New Film in the Franchise

Back in 2001, filmmaker Richard Kelly unveiled Donnie Darko to the world, a film whose following only grows each year, with the director recently teasing that he's invested a lot into bringing another film set within that franchise to life. The filmmaker was sure not to reveal too many details about the upcoming experience, which includes confirming if such a project will ever officially be released, as well as avoiding any sort of comment on where a new film would fit in relation to the original. Given that 2009's S. Darko sequel was a relative disappointment, it's unknown how such a film would connect to the source material.

"Well, I’m probably not allowed to say anything more than there has been an enormous amount of work completed," Kelly confirmed with ComingSoon about a new film. "I’m hopeful that we might get to explore that world in a very big and exciting way. But we’ll see what happens. But there has been a lot of work done. A lot of work has been done."

As evidenced in his subsequent directing projects, Southland Tales and The Box, the only thing hindering Kelly's ambitions are production limitations, with the filmmaker clearly aware that he wouldn't want to return to the world of Donnie Darko unless he knew he could deliver something that honors what came before it. Additionally, the poor critical reception of S. Darko will likely make fans even more apprehensive about any new installment in the series, but with that sequel being developed without any involvement from Kelly, hopefully him being directly involved in a new film will build confidence among audiences.

One of the strengths of Donnie Darko is that, while it tackles themes of sci-fi and fantasy and time travel, the scope of the film stays intimately focused on the title character. The filmmaker previously detailed his interest in the franchise, knowing how much potential there is to tell stories.

“I think there’s something much bigger and more ambitious to do in that universe,” Kelly revealed to HMV back in 2017. “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.”

He added, "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.”

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Stay tuned for details on the possible future of Donnie Darko.

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