Financing anddistribution for Southland Tales, Richard Kelly's sci-fi follow-up to Donnie Darko, is beginning to take shape in advanceof the scheduled start date of Aug 1 in Los Angeles.

UniversalPictures International, Inferno Distribution and Wild Bunch will co-finance thefilm, with Universal distributing in most international markets through UIP andWild Bunch taking rights for France, Benelux, Spain and Switzerland. RichardKlubeck of UTA is representing the film in domestic negotiations.

Produced byCherry Road Films and Darko Entertainment, Southland Tales is styled as a sci-fi thriller thattakes place in Los Angeles on Jul 4 2008 as the city stands on the brink ofsocial, economic and environmental collapse.

Dwayne Johnson(aka The Rock) has joined the cast of Southland Tales as anamnesiac action star whose life intertwines with that of a porn star and apolice officer who holds the key to a vast conspiracy. As previously announced,Sarah Michelle Gellar and Seann William Scott also star.

DarkoEntertainment's Sean McKittrick and Kelly will produce with Cherry Roadprincipals Bo Hyde and Kendall Morgan. Matthew Rhodes and Judd Payne ofPersistent Entertainment serve as executive producers with Bill Johnson and JimSeibel of Inferno Distribution, and Oliver Hengst of Academy Film.

Moby will composethe score for the picture, which Kelly described in a statement yesterday [May20] as a cross between the sensibilities of Andy Warhol and Philip K Dick.

Kelly ispreparing an expanded version of Southland Tales as a nine-part interactive experiencefeaturing six separate graphic novels that he will write, with the picturecomprising the final three chapters.

UTA helpedpackage the project. Kelly is represented by CAA, The Firm and David Weber ofSloan, Offer, Weber and Dern. Cherry Road and Persistent are represented byLichter, Grossman, Nichols & Adler, and Inferno is handled by Rosen &Anderson.