It’s one of the greatest films ever made, a primer for creating the ultimate sci-fi and coming of age story.  Its sprawling opening scene features “Head Over Heels” by Tears for Fears, which sets the tone for the everywhere/every kid world view of the young star of the story, simply one of the best efforts by a director to incorporate a popular song into the fabric of a film.  25-year-old actor Drew Barrymore financed the film and served as executive producer, while creating one of the best versions of a (cool) school teacher to ever hit the screen.  And it was a springboard for Jake Gyllenhaal and Jena Malone’s careers and features the likes of Katharine Ross, Mary McDonnell, Noah Wyle, and Patrick Swayze, with a memorable villain played by Beth Grant.  The film is of course Donnie Darko, and it’s finally getting a deluxe edition worthy of director Richard Kelly’s movie masterpiece.  For its 20th anniversary the director and cinematographer Steven Poster oversaw a new 4K resolution restoration from the original negatives for the Donnie Darko Limited Edition UHD The two-disc Ultra HD Blu-ray box set contains the theatrical and director’s cut with the new 4K versions, plus some good Donnie Darko swag.

The set will include a poster, postcards, and a 100-page book.  Shipping is expected April 2021.  Here are the details from Arrow Films:

  • New 4K restorations of both the Theatrical Cut and the Director’s Cut from the original camera negatives by Arrow Films, supervised and approved by director Richard Kelly and cinematographer Steven Poster
  • 4K (2160p) UHD Blu-ray presentations of both cuts in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible)
  • Original DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • 100-page hardcover book featuring writing by Nathan Rabin, Anton Bitel, and Jamie Graham, an in-depth interview with Richard Kelly, an introduction by Jake Gyllenhaal and contemporary coverage, illustrated with original stills and promotional materials
  • Double-sided fold-out poster featuring newly commissioned artwork by Luke Preece
  • Six double-sided collector’s postcards
  • Limited Edition packaging with reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Luke Preece

DISC 1 – THE THEATRICAL CUT [4K UHD BLU-RAY]

  • Audio commentary by writer-director Richard Kelly and actor Jake Gyllenhaal
  • Audio commentary by Kelly, producer Sean McKittrick and actors Drew Barrymore, Jena Malone, Beth Grant, Mary McDonnell, Holmes Osborne, Katharine Ross and James Duval
  • Deus ex Machina: The Philosophy of Donnie Darko, a documentary by Ballyhoo Motion Pictures on the making of Donnie Darko, containing interviews with writer-director Richard Kelly, producer Sean McKittrick, cinematographer Steven Poster, editor Sam Bauer, composer Michael Edwards, costume designer April Ferry, production designer Alec Hammond and actor James Duval
  • The Goodbye Place, Kelly’s 1996 short film, which anticipates some of the themes and ideas of his feature films
  • 20 deleted and alternate scenes with optional commentary by Kelly
  • Trailer

DISC 2 – THE DIRECTOR’S CUT [4K UHD BLU-RAY]

  • Audio commentary by Kelly and filmmaker Kevin Smith
  • The Donnie Darko Production Diary, an archival documentary charting the film’s production, with optional commentary by cinematographer Steven Poster
  • Archive interviews with Kelly, actors Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Drew Barrymore, James Duval, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Holmes Osborne, Noah Wyle and Katharine Ross, producers Sean McKittrick, Nancy Juvonen, Hunt Lowry and Casey La Scala, and cinematographer Steven Poster
  • Three archive featurettes: They Made Me Do ItThey Made Me Do It Too and #1 Fan: A Darkomentary
  • Storyboard comparisons
  • B-roll footage
  • Cunning Visions infomercials
  • Music video: Mad World by Gary Jules
  • Galleries
  • Director’s Cut trailer
  • TV spots

Several versions and options of Donnie Darko are available in addition to the new release, Donnie Darko Limited Edition UHD–for UK and U.S. players.  Similar releases by Arrow in 2017 and earlier have variants that may work for you–so pay close attention to make sure you get the right one.  Neither Amazon U.S. nor UK have a link for this new UHD edition yet, but keep an eye out at the Donnie Darko page on Amazon here.

C.J. Bunce / Editor / borg