Donnie Darko sequel S. Darko starts shooting May 18

UK-based sales company Velvet Octopus will be launching sales in Cannes for S. Darko, billed as the sequel to the 2001 cult hit Donnie Darko. Fox has already taken North American rights.

Daviegh Chase reprises her role as Donnie's younger sister. The cast for S. Darko also includes Ed Westwick (Son Of Rambow, Gossip Girl), Briana Evigan (Step Up 2) and Justin Chatwin (Dragon Ball). Ash Shah's Silver Nitrate and Newmarket Capital are producing. Los Angeles-based Chris Fisher, who previously made Nightstalker and Rampage: The Hillside Strangler Murders, will direct. The budget is pegged around $10m.

The story picks up seven years after the first film (and Donnie's death) when little sister Samantha Darko and her best friend Corey are now 18 and on a roadtrip to Los Angeles when they are plagued by bizarre visions.

Fisher said in a statement: "I am a great admirer of Richard Kelly's film and hope to create a similar world of blurred fantasy and reality." Producers have spoken to Richard Kelly about the project but he is not involved in any official capacity at this stage.

Simon Crowe of Velvet Octopus added: "I think there is a new generation of cinema-goers who will be very excited to see this film." Crowe quipped to ScreenDaily: "Donnie's not in [the new film] but there are meteorites and rabbits." The project starts shooting May 18.

Two other new projects that Velvet Octopus are selling in Cannes are Sam's Story and Garfield's Fun Fest.

Sam's Story, directed by Miriam Kruishoop, will star Neve Campbell and Gabriel Macht (soon to appear as Frank Miller's The Spirit) in the story of a party girl who grows up and falls in love with a single dad. The UK/Nethlerlands co-production is produced by Black Book's San Fu Maltha with Molly Hassell. It will shoot this summer.

Garfield's Fun Fest is a continuation of the cartoon cat adventures, this time full CG animated (not a live-action combination as with the recent Fox hits). The US/Korean production from The Animation Picture Co. is directed by Mark Dippe and Kyung Ho Lee. Jim Davis wrote the script with the Altiere Bros. The voice cast features Frank Welker.

Velvet Octopus' Cannes sales slate also includes UK genre film Cockneys vs Zombies, Demian Lichtenstein's $25m Relentless 3D starring Karl Urban, animated projects The Legend Of Spyro and Outback 3D, Gabor Csupo's The Secret Of Moonacre (now in post) and Emily Young's Veronika Decides To Die starring Sarah Michelle Gellar (which starts shooting May 12).

Wendy Mitchell in London
09 May 2008 05:00


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