Jake Gyllenhaal celebrates 20 years of ‘Donnie Darko’

"It’s a film that changed my life and my career"

Actor Jake Gyllenhaal has celebrated the 20th anniversary of the film Donnie Darko in a new Instagram post.

The Richard Kelly-directed movie turned 20 today (January 20) following it’s world premiere at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival.

The cult classic starred Jake alongside Maggie Gyllenhaal, Drew Barrymore, Jena Malone and Patrick Swayze. A sequel, S. Darko, followed in 2009 without the involvement of Kelly.

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To mark the anniversary, Gyllenhaal shared some images of his original script alongside some artefacts he kept from production.

Writing on Instagram, Gyllenhaal said: “Pulled out my script and some artifacts from Donnie Darko…It was released 20 years ago today.”

“It’s a film that changed my life and my career and it’s been unreal to watch this story find afterlives with new audiences and new generations, and yet, what Donnie said to Roberta Sparrow is still true: ‘there is so much to look forward to.'”

He continued: “Thank you to all the fans who’ve come up to me over the years with that confused look on their faces and asked me: ‘what the f**k is Donnie Darko about??’ Happy 20th Donnie! Let’s keep confusing people. Here’s to 20 more.”

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When asked about another possible sequel to the film in 2017, director Kelly hinted that one could be in the works.

“I think there’s something much bigger and more ambitious to do in that universe,” he told HMV at the time.

He continued: “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.”

Speaking about the less successful S. Darko sequel of which he had no involvement, Kelly told NME in 2017: “I’ve never seen it – it was horribly violating. 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.”

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