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Will There be a ‘Donnie Darko’ 2?

December 16, 2019
6 min read

The darling of critics and high brow cinema lovers worldwide, 2001’s science fiction film ‘Donnie Darko‘ remains a cult classic even after all the years. While the movie performed poorly at the box office at the time, it has since gone on to make several Best Movie lists and leave an indelible mark on popular cinema culture. As the 20th anniversary of the first movie approaches a question arises – will there be a ‘Donnie Darko 2’? Read on to find out everything we know.

Donnie Darko 2 Plot: What Could it be About?

We don’t have any concrete information about ‘Donnie Darko 2’ but director Richard Kelly has spoken about his desire to return to the universe of ‘Donnie Darko’. He said, “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”.

Since ‘Donnie Darko’ plays heavily with themes of time travel and spans across genres including horror, thriller and science fiction, we can expect the new sequel to feature the same idiosyncrasies. One possible storyline is a spin-off that explores the history of Roberta Sparrow, and her journey from nun to high school science teacher to eventually a senile old woman. This would certainly have something to do with her own experiences with time travel, which also led her to author the book “The Philosophy of Time Travel”. The book itself is of note because it was the key to interpreting the ending of the first movie.

Of course, since ‘Donnie Darko’ dabbles so heavily in the idea of parallel universes and dimensions, it is entirely possible that Jake Gyllenhaal’s character Donnie Darko is brought back to life in a different timeline. This would also mean that several years have passed since the non events of the last movie, and we now have a much older Donnie as our protagonist.

Donnie Darko 2 Cast and Crew: Who Can Be Behind the Movie?

‘Donnie Darko’ is written and directed by American filmmaker Richard Kelly. Kelly has not directed a film since the 2009 psychological thriller ‘The Box’, which was a box office bomb.

The main cast of the movie includes Jake Gyllenhaal as Donnie Darko, Maggie Gyllenhaal as his older sister Elizabeth Darko, Jena Malone as Gretchen Ross, Patience Cleveland as Roberta Sparrow and Patrick Swayze as Jim Cunningham.

Director Richard Kelly is expected to return to helm ‘Donnie Darko 2’. If the movie is a direct sequel to the ‘Donnie Darko’, we might see Jake Gyllenhaal and Maggie Gyllenhaal make a comeback. However, the movie may well choose to explore other characters in the same universe, in which case very few of the original cast will return.

Donnie Darko 2 Release Date: When Will it Premiere?

Director Richard Kelly revealed in 2017 that he had an idea for a possible ‘Donnie Darko 2’ movie, but the project is yet to be greenlit. At the current moment, my best guess is that ‘Donnie Darko 2’ can only release sometime in 2023 or later.

Donnie Darko Movie Retrospective

The movie is set in the year 1988 in the quaint little town of Middlesex, Virginia. A young teenager named Donnie Darko lives with his parents, Eddie and Rose Darko, as well as his siblings, older sister Rose Darko, and younger sister Samantha Darko. One night, Donnie has a troubled dream in which a figure in a hideous rabbit costume who calls himself Frank informs him that the world would be ending in exactly 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes and 12 seconds.

Donnie wakes up the next day in the middle of a golf course somewhere and quickly returns home to find that a jet engine has crashed through his bedroom. His sister Elizabeth tells him no one knows of its origin, including the authorities. Donnie continues to have disturbing visions over the next few nights, so his parents send him to see psychiatrist Dr. Thurman. Dr. Thurman diagnoses Donnie’s hallucinations as symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia.

Donnie’s dreams begin to affect his real life adversely, with Frank convincing Donnie to perform various acts in an unconscious sleepwalking state. Donnie floods his high school by destroying the water mains and starts going out with a girl named Gretchen Ross, a former victim of abuse by her violent step father. In the wake of vandalism at the school, the gym teacher Kitty Farmer begins taking “attitude lessons” classes for students based on a local motivational teacher called Jim Cunningham’s teachings.

This is when the movie’s science fiction heritage begins to rear its head, as Frank broaches the topic of time travel with Donnie, who in turn asks his science teacher Dr. Kenneth Monnitoff. He also gives Donny a book titled “The Philosophy of Time Travel”, which was written by a former school teacher turned senile old woman who lives outside of town, Roberta Sparrow.

Soon, Donnie realizes that he has developed the ability to predict people’s movements based on floating bubbles around people. One bubble appears on his chest, and leads him to his parents’ wardrobe and inside, a gun. At school the next time, motivational speaker Jim Cunningham is giving a speech. Frank encourages Donnie to go to his home and set it on fire. Donnie does so and firefighters are called, who happen to find child pornography in Cunningham’s house, and promptly have him arrested.

Donnie’s mother and little sister Samantha go off to Los Angeles for Samantha’s dance competition, and Donnie throws a Halloween party at his house. However, he soon realizes that the end of the world that Frank the rabbit prophesied is almost upon them, and sets off to find Roberta Sparrow with his girlfriend Gretchen. What he finds is a couple of hooligans robbing Sparrow’s home. As he confronts them, an oncoming car crashes into Gretchen, killing her instantly. The driver of the car turns out to be Frank Anderson, a man wearing a rabbit Halloween suit. Donnie shoots him, takes Gretchen’s lifeless body and drives off outside of town from where he watches the returning plane with his mother and sister get caught in a storm and crash.

Suddenly, everything rewinds back 28 days, Donny wakes up on October 2, and a jet engine falls through his roof, killing him instantly.

Donnie Darko Trailer

While we wait for more news about ‘Donnie Darko 2’, you can watch the trailer for the original ‘Donnie Darko’ right here:

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