Ain't It Cool News
May 15, 2000
YESSSS!!!! DONNIE DARKO is being made! Thank God!
You know, the EASY RIDER piece at Variety nearly made me lose all hope for Hollywood, until I saw this story at Hollywood Reporter:
Jason Schwartzman ("Rushmore") is set to star in the dramatic fantasy film "Donnie Darko" for Pandora, with Drew Barrymore to take a small role and executive produce through her Flower Films. First-time director Richard Kelly will helm from his own script, with shooting scheduled to start in July. "Darko," budgeted at less than $10 million, combines elements of mystical fantasy and science fiction with a teenage romance. The love interest for Schwartzman's character has yet to be cast.
I mentioned DONNIE DARKO first back on September 13th, 1999 in a story about the state of the Horror film industry and how this script and another called AMUSEMENTS should both be picked up and made. Now, while AMUSEMENTS is one of the fave reads around Hollywood, I haven't heard anything about where it's headed though there were rumors about Digital Domain and John McTiernan quite a while back. BUT I HAVE TO SAY... While I really really wanted to see DONNIE DARKO get made... I just didn't think it'd survive.
Not only is it surviving, but the screenwriter is also getting a shot to direct it!!! This is virtually unheard of... and with Jason Schwartzman starring as DONNIE DARKO this film should be a fucking great movie! Here's what I wrote on the film way back when:
DONNIE DARKO is a superb script about a 14 year old boy that lives on any ol average street in America. He has a regular nice ol family. He's on medication. He's been in trouble before, but he really really wants to be a good kid. HOWEVER, he sleep walks... he talks to an imaginary bloody 6ft tall rabbit-costumed guy without one of his eyes... and this rabbit asks that he do things. And if by the end of this script... which is played EXTREMELY SMART, you are not completely stunned... well... you shouldn't be in charge of development.
Mucho congratulations to Richard Kelly on this one!