‘Donnie Darko’ director hints at sequel

The Jake Gyllenhaal-starring cult classic was originally released in 2001

Donnie Darko director Richard Kelly has responded to suggestions that there could be future activity in the franchise.

The cult classic was originally released in 2001, starring Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal, Drew Barrymore, Jena Malone and Patrick Swayze. A sequel, S. Darko, followed in 2009 without the involvement of Kelly.

Speaking to HMV, Kelly said that he has been “working on a lot of different projects” and plans “to be back behind a camera in 2017.”


Asked whether there could be any future Donnie Darko films, Kelly replied: “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.”

Kelly recently told NME that he felt “angry and filled with rage” following the “horribly violating” S. Darko sequel. Critically panned upon its release, S. Darko barely broke even at the box office when it was released in May 2009.

Speaking to NME, Kelly recalled the emotions he felt when he discovered that a sequel to Donnie Darko was in the works, while also revealing that he couldn’t ever bring himself to watch S. Darko. “I’ve never seen it – it was horribly violating,” Kelly said. “It was incredibly painful to think about what they were doing, it made me very angry, filled with rage.”

Kelly also debunked a number of fan theories about the film. Asked if Donnie was dead the whole time, Kelly said he “didn’t have an answer to that question,” adding: “I think the film argues that life and death can perhaps coexist, that time is not necessarily a purely linear thing.”

Read the full NME interview with Donnie Darko director Richard Kelly here.