These days Donnie Darko is celebrating the 20th anniversary and for the occasion we want to tell you the story that forever binds the name of Christopher Nolan to the cult with Jake Gyllenhaal.
Donnie Darko in fact it debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, dove he 'collided' with Memento in Nolan: both films had been funded by Newmarket Films, but while Nolan's work had won unanimous support and had immediately signed distribution agreements, Donnie Darko on the contrary, it was initially eclipsed and risked being forgotten, to the point that the executives thought of sending it directly to TV.
However, Newmarket decided to give it one last try and screened the film for executives: at this screening Nolan and his production partner Emma Thomas were also invited, treated with white gloves given the success of Memento. Once the film was finished, Nolan told the executives that Donnie Darko absolutely had to be released in theaters and today Richard Kelly - the director of the film with Jake Gyllenhaal - he also credits Nolan with credit subtitles that help clarify the timeline of the movie.
The work in that way managed to make itself known, and even if the takings were not exorbitant it would have been subsequently re-evaluated thanks to home-video, a market in which it became a real cult.
For other insights, we refer you to the review by Donnie Darko.