Based on his recent comments, it appears as though Richard Kelly will be looking towards the past in order to secure his future. The filmmaker broke out in a huge way with his feature debut Donnie Darko 20 years ago, but hasn’t directed a movie in over a decade after his next two efforts performed poorly from both a critical and commercial perspective.
Kelly was anointed as independent cinema’s next wunderkind when Donnie Darko received rave reviews and became an instant cult classic, but the sprawling and disjointed Southland Tales was a major misstep. He followed it up with mystery thriller The Box, but after two box office bombs in a row, he vanished into the Hollywood ether.
However, after outlining his plans for a six-hour Director’s Cut of Southland Tales, not to mention his desire to rope in star Dwayne Johnson for any further outings set in his dystopian Los Angeles, Kelly has now teased that he’s working on a sequel to Donnie Darko, after revealing that plenty of work has already been done on the project.
“Well, I’m probably not allowed to say anything more than there has been an enormous amount of work completed. 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.”
Of course, Donnie Darko already got a sequel back in 2009 that he wasn’t involved in, which was probably for the best when the straight to video S. Darko was savaged by critics. Kelly hasn’t received a credit on anything since he produced action comedy Operation: Endgame back in 2010, but the 45 year-old is still young in industry terms, and all it could take is one movie to completely turn things around.
Returning to the well of his breakout film could go either way at this stage, but he’s at least voicing a real desire to get back in the game having sat on the sidelines for so long.