Richard Kelly May Return To Southland Tales

A threat or promise? Who knows but in a Smodcastle interview with director Richard Kelly and a report at Playlist, he announced that he has at least written an animated prequel to his second feature, Southland Tales. He has claimed that he bit off more than he could chew with Southland Tales and that there is still material in that world that needs to be told to make it work.

I knew that people wouldn’t understand ‘Southland Tales unless they read the graphic novels… I still feel like ‘Southland Tales’ is an unfinished film… I’m going to figure out how to advance the graphic novels further — whether it’s trying to put them together as a low budget animated film, whether it looks like ‘Waltz with Bashir’ or it looks like one of ‘The Animatrix’ prequels… I still want to figure out a way to tell the entire ‘Southland Tales’ story over six chapters because I think it would make a lot more sense to people and I think people would reassess the entire film

He also says that there is a screenplay ready for production.

I wrote scripts that I handed over to Brett Weldele to illustrate for the graphic novel, and now I’ve taken that graphic novel and adapted it into a new screenplay, which is streamlined and more coherent. So it’s becoming so meta that I don’t know what’s reality anymore

This is all fair and good but the idea with a film is that you have it make sense the first time. Not keep changing it till it finally suits you. Maybe I’m just bitter about the whole Southland Tales debacle, which is one of the worst films of recent years and the fact that more of Kelly’s droning, pretentious meanderings with aspirations of David Lynch is yet to come is something to fear.

It’s a shame because Kelly was a filmmaker with tremendous promise after creating Donnie Darko (in its original theatrical version) which was one of the best films of the last decade. More promise of Southland Tales just makes my heart sink because I think Kelly has the ability to do good, he just needs to go back to the drawing board and come up with something else. Truth is because Southland Tales flopped so badly we’re not likely to see this for a while.