In the mid-2000s, when Dwayne Johnson had fully completed his transition from wrestler to actor, he'd already sort of gained a reputation for staring in movies that were all kind of the same. His brief appearance in The Mummy Returns netted him his own spin-off in The Scorpion King, which lead to other films like the Walking Tall remake and the big screen adaptation of Doom. He was being pigeonholed, and as a result decided to step out of his comfort zone and star in an ambitious, bizarre new movie, the sophomore feature from Donnie Darko's Richard Kelly. Southland Tales would prove to be a devisive and oddball movie which flopped at the box office and still stands out in Johnson's career. That said, Kelly would still like to make a follow-up with Johndon.
"Yes. I've been working on a new screenplay," Kelly told EW. "But I would love more than anything to work with Dwayne again on this project and with all the actors. It's just a question of, is there a way to figure that out? I certainly hope so." When the outlet noted that Johnson makes much more per movie now than the original Southland Tales even cost back in 2006, Kelly added, "Yes, I realize that. [Laughs] That's a whole other discussion that I'm not able to completely address."
Kelly further elaborted on his plans for a follow-up, saying: "I've worked on quite a bit of new Southland Tales material and we've been doing a lot of work to try and figure out how we could pull it off. I'm not going to ever give up on it. I'm going to keep pushing for it for the rest of my life or until everyone gets too old. I believe in the project and I feel there's a chance for us to really do something much more exciting with it, given the streaming platforms and the long-form storytelling possibilities that exist now, where people are able to have a bigger canvas. We'll see what happens. But I think I've come up with a really exciting new screenplay."
To his credit, though it seems like Johnson would need to really be talked into making this sequel, he has previously opened up about how much working on the film meant to him and how he handled the poor reception it received.
“Southland Tales hurt,” Johnson told Indiewire back in 2019. “I took it in the gut. We all went into that movie having so much trust, and a script that was complex and interesting. At times, you’re like, ‘What the f**k is going on?’ Richard Kelly, who was a good friend, was so passionate about that movie.”
Do you want to see a Southland Tales sequel? What would it take for Dwayne Johnson to return? Sound off in the comments with your thoughts.