Donnie Darko (2001)
Newmarket films, the movie's US distributor, approached Richard Kelly about doing a director's cut. He accepted the offer and did the re-edit with editor Sam Bauer in a swift nine days.
Richard Kelly said that the movie had a very difficult time finding a US distributor. Since the film embodied myriad genres and tones, distributors were confused by the movie's message, and how to market it. Additionally, Kelly also claims that "Darko" was very close to premiering on the Starz network until Newmarket Films picked up the film for theatrical distribution.
Despite persistent rumors, Richard Kelly insists that none of the characters in this film are based upon USC teachers or students.
The movie was shot in 28 days, exactly the time-span of the movie itself, on a budget of under US$5 million.
In the beginning of the film, when Donnie is walking back home in the morning, his mother is reading Stephen King's It (1990) (TV), which is about a small town tormented by a demon that disguises itself the guise of a clown. Later, towards the end of "Donnie," a character is hit by a car. The passenger of the car gets out and is dressed like a clown.
In the scene at the house party someone is shown jumping on a trampoline, wearing a Ronald Reagan mask. This is taken from a photo of the journalist Hunter S. Thompson wearing a Reagan mask while jumping on a trampoline.
In the film Donnie refers to "Married... with Children" (1987) and, more specifically, Christina Applegate during conversations about sex with his therapist. The script initially called for Donnie's fantasies to be about Alyssa Milano. This had to be changed however when Richard Kelly was denied the legal rights to reference her in this manner.
In the theater scene, Richard Kelly originally intended to have Donnie and Gretchen going to see C.H.U.D. (1984). However, there were problems with finding out who owned the rights to the movie. Finally, Sam Raimi came to... [continues]
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