Ok I might be slightly late in writing about this, but as I only found out this morning via "Bloodydisgusting.com" I felt compelled to write something on the subject, especially as I'm such a big fan of Richard Kelly's work.
When Donnie Darko was first released back in 2001, I had to hunt down a cinema that was actually showing it, which wasn't easy seeing how I was living in Cornwall at the time, which only got it's first McDonald's around the same time, so obscure indie films like this were hard to find.
Thankfully the local arts club, showed it on one of their film evenings, were they took over one of the screens at my local cinema, to show films like "Apocalypse Now: Redux", "City of God" and "Bowling for Columbine" and any other films that weren't considered to have mass appeal. It was here in this crappy cinema, with it's really uncomfortable seats, which hadn't been replaced since the cinema first opened back in the 1960's, that I first saw it and from that moment it has been a film that stuck with me, spawning over time a cult like following, which also saw the inferior directors cut receiving a larger cinema release than the original film, before Richard Kelly went on to follow it up with the fantastic "Southland Tales" (2006) which would be the film, that split the fan base down the middle with people like myself who adored it and others who just didn't get it, finding it overblown and lacking the surreal qualities which made Donnie Darko the film it was.
Donnie Darko was always a film that was self contained, requiring no need for a sequel but alas with the studios being keen as always to cash in on a success, with the "American Pie" series being a key example, which is now up to part 6 thanks to the DTV market, which in itself has over last few years lost alot of it's stigma and seen increased sales, as more studios use this as a cheaper way of continuing a series and which, because of which we now are faced with the DTV sequel "S. Darko: A Donnie Darko Tale".
Picking up the story seven years after the ending of the original film Samantha Darko and her best friend Corey are now 18 and on a road trip to Los Angeles when they are plagued by bizarre visions, after breaking down in a small Utah town, as it soon becomes clear that this might be more than a chance breakdown.
So yes it looks like they are dumbing things down again, which isn't surprising when you consider that Richard Kelly is in no way, involved with this film, already going on the record when he gave this quote recently.
"To set the record straight, here's a few facts I'd like to share with you all -- I haven't read this script. I have absolutely no involvement with this production, nor will I ever be involved."
Still it seems that this hasn't deterred director Chris Fisher who when asked about the film, admitted to being a fan of the original and hopes
"to create a similar world of blurred fantasy and reality."
It would seem though that Fisher would already be heading for trouble, by simply being involved with the film, especially when you consider the rabid following that the original film has, let alone the reaction which current remakes are greeted with, let alone cash in spin off's which share no connection to the original film outside of the title.
Still the release date for Region 1 set for May 12th, so it is yet to be seen if Fisher has managed to make a film, which is able to add to the mythology rather than just leaving a bad taste in our mouths. In the meantime you can see the trailer for yourself here.