This year marks the 20th anniversary of Donnie Darko. Although not a box-office success, it didn’t take long for the cult film and director Richard Kelly to find a devoted audience. The filmmaker struck a strong chord with his debut, which had an obsessive quality about it. That overwhelming sense of obsession continued to run deep in Kelly’s movies, including Southland Tales and The Box.

They’re typically dense pieces of work demanding discussion and repeat viewings. Even with only three directorial efforts, we have a strong sense of who Kelly is – an always ambitious and polarizing storyteller. He never goes down the middle of the road, which has led to long waits between each of his movies. It’s been almost 12 years since we saw the director’s last film, The Box, which was a loose adaptation of a Richard Matheson short story. In that time, Kelly has been writing like mad and trying to push rocks up a hill.

Recently, Kelly told us about the projects he’s been developing and his unconventional career.

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Southland Tales prequel

Southland Tales debuted almost 15 years ago at the Cannes Film festival. All of these years later, love it or hate it, the Richard Kelly film remains something movie fans keep talking about. The conversation around the ambitious science fiction film continues as Arrow Films has released a limited edition Blu-Ray, including the infamous “Cannes cut,” which runs longer than the theatrical version. This version remains unfinished, without all the effects work complete, but nonetheless, Kelly’s pop culture-infused surrealist epic gets more breathing room. It’s fuller yet more relaxed compared to the theatrical cut.

Over the past few years, the lunacy and nightmarish imagery of Southland Tales came to mind more than once or twice. We spoke to Kelly about the movie’s mirror of the world, his Cannes experience, and his plans for future stories in the Southland Tales universe.

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Richard Kelly is busy revisiting his Southland Tales world at the moment. In the new year, fans of the cult sci-fi movie will finally see the infamous Cannes cut, which heavily re-edited following its debut. But a few years after that film, Kelly’s sophomore effort after Donnie Darko, he attempted to make his most commercial movie with The Box. Now, over a decade after The Box‘s release, Kelly is still interested in releasing a Director’s Cut of his third film.

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Southland Tales prequel

In 2006, Donnie Darko director Richard Kelly premiered his second feature film, Southland Tales, at the Cannes Film Festival. The audience did not react warmly to his hugely ambitious movie, and the film was drastically re-cut before hitting theaters in late 2007, when it failed to make much of an impact. But among film fanatics, the movie has been a much-argued-about talking point for more than a decade.

Kelly has only directed one other movie since then (2009’s The Box), but he recently revealed that he and his team have completed a 4K restoration of the infamous Cannes cut of Southland Tales, and that he still intends to direct a Southland Tales prequel which features both animation and live-action. Read his latest update below. Read More »

Rod Serling Biopic

Director Richard Kelly shot onto the Hollywood scene with the psychological thriller Donnie Darko starring Jake Gyllenhaal in 2001. A few years later, he returned with the fascinating but underwhelming Southland Tales, followed by the odd, cautionary tale The Box. Since then he’s pretty much disappeared, popping up only as a producer for Operation: Endgame back in 2010. But now the filmmaker might be making a comeback with the a biopic focusing on one of sci-fi’s most influential creative minds: The Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling. Read More »

Donnie Darko sequel

I know what some of you are thinking, didn’t a Donnie Darko sequel already happen? Yes, it did. It was called S. Darko, and Donnie Darko writer-director Richard Kelly and Darko Entertainment publicly denounced it . Kelly had no control over the rights of the original film, so the sequel moved forward without his approval. The director and his producing partners didn’t even profit from the straight-to-DVD cash grab. Kelly is now interested in a real Donnie Darko sequel, or some “big and expensive” movie set in the Darkoverse, if you will.

Below, read the director’s thoughts on a Donnie Darko sequel.

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Green Band Trailer

Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? This week Donnie Darko gets a 4K re-release, the new Captain Kirk narrates a story of some overly ambitious high schoolers, Fat Mike learns a thing a two about running a music label because he’s seen a thing or two, we try and earn a few bitcoins, and North Korea lets in an industrial band to play a few tunes for the people.  Read More »

Buckaroo Bonzai TV Series

In case you haven’t heard, Kevin Smith is working on a TV series adaptation of the MGM cult classic sci-fi adventure The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension from 1984. It was Smith’s work directing an episode of The CW series The Flash last year that turned some heads at MGM, and now he’s deep in development on the project with an eye on some filmmakers he hopes to recruit to direct some episodes.

Find out some of Smith’s ambitious picks to direct some of the Buckaroo Bonzai TV series after the jump. Read More »

Jordan Peele

For the past three years, Jordan Peele has succeeded in making us laugh as one-half of Comedy Central’s Key and Peele. Now he wants to make us scream.

Peele is set to write and direct a horror film called Get Out. While this will be his first attempt at straight-faced horror, it’s not that crazy a leap. His many horror-influenced sketches on Key and Peele have demonstrated that he his way around the look, feel, and traditions of the genre. Hit the jump for more on the Jordan Peele horror movie.

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Richard Kelly Gone Girl
I’ve always loved hearing filmmakers discuss movies. We’ve often printed interviews where we ask filmmakers about their favorite films and the /Filmcast has tried to bring on directors to review the latest big screen movies. That hasn’t been as constant of a feature as David Chen and I originally planned, because as it turns out, people in the movie industry generally don’t like to publicly bas other filmmaker’s projects and we generally only got yeses from those directors who had a positive take on the film at hand. But I’ve always enjoyed hearing filmmakers discuss the movies they love and the current state of cinema.

Richard Kelly, writer/director of Donnie Darko, Southland Tales, and The Box, has always made his opinions and himself very accessible (actually, I almost wish he wouldn’t have explained the intentions and meanings behind his films, as they serve better as mysteries with no definitive answer). And this week, like many of us, he saw David Fincher‘s latest film Gone Girl and wrote a bit about it on his blog. Find out more about the Richard Kelly Gone Girl review, after the jump.
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