Is Donnie Darko 2 Happening? Here’s What The Director Said

Jake Gyllenhaal Donnie Darko

If you have seen Richard Kelly's Donnie Darko, then you already know that the 2001 sci-fi horror movie completely defies logic or explanation. The story of the Jake Gyllenhaal's titular troubled teen haunted by a man in a bunny costume (who happens to also prophesize the impending apocalypse) has become iconic for the way in which it defies any form of categorization. One would think that Donnie Darko doesn't necessarily lend itself to the sequel treatment, but that's something that Richard Kelly is apparently very interested in pursuing. The director explained:

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.

Richard Kelly's recent comments to hmv (opens in new tab) don't necessary lay out how a sequel to Donnie Darko could work. He makes a point of specifying that he wants to do more stories within this particular universe, but the director doesn't say whether or not he intends to return to Donnie as a character. This bigger story with an even greater budget could involve taking the insanely bizarre ideas presented in the original film and put them on display in a different corner of the universe. Numerous questions remain unanswered by the end of Donnie Darko, so there's ample opportunity to strike out in an entirely new direction.


Of course, there are probably plenty of fans that don't want to see a sequel to Donnie Darko materialize at any point in the near future. Because Donnie allows himself to be crushed by a falling jet engine at the end of the film -- thus ending paradox the cycle he finds himself stuck in. The film has a very definite beginning, middle, and end. Even if the proposed sequel strikes out in an entirely new direction, it opens up the distinct possibility that the follow-up could somehow tarnish the legacy of the original. Long-awaited sequels don't always work out very well in the end, so it might be worth it to leave Donnie Darko alone.

Of course, if Donnie Darko gets a sequel at some point, then Richard Kelly will need to find a way to fit Gary Jules' "Mad World" into the film. That's a focal point of the Darko universe:

Whether or not Donnie Darko will ever actually receive a sequel remains to be seen, but Richard Kelly's willingness to return to this universe is something worth getting excited about. We will bring you more updates related to the proposed sequel as they become available to us.

Conner Schwerdtfeger

Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.