Barring an unforseen arrival between now and 11:59:59 on December 31, we will have gone a stem-to-stern decade sans Richard Kelly. The wormhole-traveling mind behind Donnie Darko, Southland Tales, The Box, and, of course, Southland Tales: The Prequel Saga (I only sort of joke; it is actually great) hasn’t disappeared from lack of trying: in years past there was nearly the Edgar Ramirez-led Corpus Christi, Amicus—once headlined by Nicolas Cage, then James Gandolfini, reportedly almost off the ground before the latter’s untimely passing in 2013—and word of a Donnie Darko return that has yielded nothing for us to consider. Our great interview from 2017 evinced he was working, but I could’ve told you that, too. For one of the American cinema’s worst decades ever, his absence feels too on-the-nose.
Let’s lead into the 2020s with some good news, or intimations of it: per Production Weekly (via Comicbook.com), Kelly has lined up a biopic of Twilight Zone creator and Planet of the Apes screenwriter Rod Serling, whose stage presence is among the most iconic in big- or small-screen history; Mandalay Pictures would produce. While the biopic does not seem Kelly’s terrain, his kinship with Serling, a master chronicler of the odd and unexpected and altogether frightening, isn’t hard to suss out, making any possible ins or outs of this all but impossible to determine right now. Whatever happens, so long as it does happen, we are grateful for signs of life.