Remember that horrible sounding Donnie Darko sequel we told you about a couple weeks back? The one in-which Richard Kelly has no involvement or even support? Well that movie just added two more names to the roster. How about Oscar nominated Jake Gyllenhaal? Nope. Or how about Golden Globe nominated Maggie Gyllenhaal? Wrong again. Maybe, uh, Oscar nominated Mary McDonnell? Nope, these are two brand new cast members not featured in the original film.
So what “talented” duo of actors were hired?Â Elizabeth Berkley, who many remember from Saved by the Bell and Showgirls, and Briana Evigan, who was in Step Up 2: The Streets, have boarded the Darko sequel/spinoff. According to THR, Berkley is playing “a speed freak-turned-Jesus freak whose sentiments about ridding the world of its exponential sin are rivaled only by her infatuation with her dreamy pastor.” They will join the already announced cast of Ed Westwick (Gossip Girl, Justin Chatwin (The Chumscrubber), and Daveigh Chase (Donnie Darko) in Utah where production has already begun.
The sequel picks up seven years after the first film and Donnie’s death when his now 18-year-old sister Samantha Darko (hence the title S. Darko), and her best friend Corey go on a roadtrip to Los Angeles, where along the way they are plagued by bizarre visions. Yeah, nothing about this movie sounds good.
I’m a huge fan of Donnie Darko. Richard Kelly‘s debut film is not only one of my favorite films of 2001, but it’s probably somewhere on my list of favorite films of all time. So when I learned this morning that a sequel was being made, I seriously began to doubt my commitment to sparkle motion. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti sequel at all. I’ll be happy to see Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and enjoyed watching Live Free or Die Hard. If the original people are involved, and it doesn’t suck as a movie (forget about comparisons to the original) then I’m in. But that’s where the sequel to Donnie Darko goes wrong.
Apparently the sequel is being made completely without the involvement of Richard Kelly. The press release reads:
“Producers have spoken to Richard Kelly about the project but he is not involved in any official capacity at this stage.”
But I’m guessing that this is just PR speak for Velvet Octopus probably called Richard Kelly, who explained he was not interested in being involved in a sequel. I just sent an email to someone I know over at Darko Entertainment, and they assured me that “Richard, Sean, and every ounce of Darko Entertainment are 150% NOT INVOLVED”. This can’t be good.
“Why do you wear that stupid Woman suit?”
The sequel follows Donnie’s younger sister, Samantha Darko, a role reprised by Daviegh Chase (of such direct to dvd classics as Beethoven’s 5th: Big Paw and the animated Stich! The Movie). The story picks up seven years after the first film and Donnie’s death when his now 18-year-old sister Samantha and her best friend Corey go on a roadtrip to Los Angeles, where along the way they are plagued by bizarre visions. And if that doesn’t sound bad enough, guess what they’re calling it? Donnie Darko 2? Nope. S. Darko! What? They couldn’t even call it Samantha Darko?
But they probably nabbed an unknown filmmaker who has an incredibly unique vision, and ability to think outside of the box. Someone who was discovered in the world of music videos or some other visual medium, right? They wouldn’t have hired a hack to direct the sequel, would they? They have. Chris Fisher, who previously made Nightstalker and Rampage: The Hillside Strangler Murders, will direct.
Producers told ScreenDaily that “Donnie’s not in [the new film] but there are meteorites and rabbits.” Oh, great. The budget is pegged around $10m, and production begins on May 18th. The supporting cast includes Ed Westwick (Son Of Rambow, Gossip Girl), Briana Evigan (Step Up 2) and Justin Chatwin (Dragon Ball). Fox has already nabbed the North American distribution rights. Avoid at all costs.
While re-watching the trailer for Richard Kelly’s Southland Tales, I was able to spot two instances of a Donnie Darko easter egg. Frank’s Bunny head can be seen on a poster which is in the background of some scenes. Anyone have any idea what the text below the head on the poster says? Click on the image above to enlarge. The trailer can be found here.
I have also found a few secret frames hidden within the trailer. You can see them after the jump.
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Patrick Dempsey will star in the romantic comedy Made of Honor, for the British director behind Mr. Bean and City Slickers II, Paul Weiland. Written by Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont (Can’t Hardy Wait, A Very Brady Sequel) the story follows Tom Bailey (Dempsey), who is in love with his best friend Claire, but is unwilling to admit it. When a rich Scotsman sweeps Claire off her feet and proposes, he’s chosen to be her Maid Of Honor. Sounds like it might be funny. Dempsey started his career by looking pretty,
Floor and desk advertisements for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows have started to appear in bookstores.
IGN has a look at The Hoax Movie Poster. Blah!
Steven Spielberg’s filmmaking reality television show On The Lot will premiere May 16th 2007 on Fox.
IFC Films will start selling movies on iTunes for $9.99.
Looks like someone forgot to re-register DonnieDarko.com. That sucks. But most of that material fell into the sucky directors cut, so maybe they felt the online experience was no longer needed?
If you’re in San Francisco on Sunday, why not crash an Oscar Party?
The Hollywood Reporter: “The high risk of a “real or de facto” strike by Hollywood unions means film industry employment could drop substantially in 2008, according to a new forecast by a regional economic group.” No duh. That’s like saying ‘If the Police cracked down on the hotels in California for hiring mexican workers, the hotel industry would lose a lot of workers.’