He was bound to get asked the question eventually, and now we have an answer.
Yes, Jake Gyllenhaal has finally addressed the very real possibility of making a sequel to the 2001 cult classic Donnie Darko, which helped his star rise rapidly to the A-list.
Earlier in the year, the time-traveling head-scratcher of a film’s director Richard Kelly had been touring a brand new 4K restoration of Darko when he made some rather surprising comments about revisiting the mind-bending universe, causing a lot of fans to respond with some extremely vocal mixed reactions.
“I think there’s something much bigger and more ambitious to do in that universe,” Kelly told HMV at the time. “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.”
In the midst of promoting his new big budget sci-fi outing Life, it turned out that Gyllenhaal hadn’t forgotten his indie roots, and the actor was surprisingly positive about reprising the character of Donnie in Kelly’s planned sequel.
“I’m always interested in anything that Richard [Kelly] is doing,” Gyllenhaal told Yahoo. “He has such an interesting mind. Obviously that movie means a lot to me and to other people as well. There always have – throughout the years – been discussions about the possibility of different things.”
The original film – which flopped on release before accruing a massive following – saw Gyllenhaal play the titular character of Donnie, who has visions of a man in a rabbit suit warning him that the world is about to end. If you’ve seen it (and chances are that if you’re reading this, you have) you’ll know that the end of the movie didn’t leave much in the way of wiggle room for the anarchistic character, so what direction could a sequel take?
“I think with anything that is such an original idea as Donnie Darko and the effect that it had on audiences, you’re going to constantly be trying to evolve it, or move it, or change it, so I’m always open to that,” Gyllenhaal remarked. “That’s what art is about. It’s about ideas and the evolution of them and hopefully discovering something original in the process, and I’m always down.”