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Chris Fisher Talks S. Darko





S. Darko (click for larger image)Director Chris Fisher wants to set the record straight on a few issues surrounding his latest project, S. Darko, which had the internet buzzing with malice ever since the word got out that there was going to a be companion film to Richard Kelly’s cult classic Donnie Darko.

So many people think we made this film in secret, that we weren’t fans of Kelly’s film, or that this is a purely money-driven project,” said Fisher. “None of those things are true at all. We just wanted to create another movie based on the ‘Darko’ cosmology, and I have nothing but the utmost respect for Kelly’s vision.”

S. Darko centers around Samantha, Donnie’s sister, and the aftermath she faces amidst the tragedy in her life and a series of bizarre visions that begin to haunt her. Suddenly she’s thrown into parallel existences true to the nature of the ‘Darko’ themes and seeks out the meaning within the people in her life and herself.

Fisher explains, “S. Darko is a sci-fi fairy tale that examines the idea of a lead character that’s an archetypal princess, but here we have two versions with Samantha: a ‘bright’ princess and this darker, sort of punk princess. Ultimately, I wanted to make a kick-ass female-driven post-modern project.

I hope that S. Darko feels a lot like 'Buffy' in the sense that here we have this girl who has to learn how to fight through the pain in her world. For a lot of the movie, Sam follows this alpha-type friend who makes most of her decisions for her. At one point, her character turns a corner where she ultimately has to decide to go down her own path. I just wanted to create a film that has a positive message but isn’t too heavy-handed,” Fischer added.

There have been a lot of murmurs that S. Darko is meant to be a sequel to Donnie Darko or that Fisher was looking to tinker with the original film. According to Fisher, those ideas couldn’t be further from the project he directed.

We didn’t set out to explain anything that was set up in the ‘Donnie’ film or answer any of those questions,” said Fisher. “My story is all about Sam, not Donnie, and the only thing we tried to do here that is similar to Kelly’s film is just keep that anti-establishment spirit alive and explore the original’s themes with theories about tangent universes and how cause and effect can shape our world.

S. Darko is not a sequel or a prequel necessarily. It should stand alone as a companion piece that exists within the ‘Darko’ universe. We embraced Kelly’s ideas but explored them further with a different point of view. If we wanted to do a sequel or whatever, we’d have created a completely different story.

Fisher obviously knew that with S. Darko he’d be treading into rough territory since Kelly’s film is considered sacred amongst the cult film purists.

Fisher said, “I knew that there definitely would be some people who would be resistant to my film, but I think what bothered me so much was that people were judging before they even saw it.

The bottom line is that with S. Darko I wanted to leave my mark, and I think the movie should just speak for itself,” Fisher added. “I can appreciate if someone doesn’t like my film, but you should actually see it before you say anything negative.

- Heather Wixson

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