Forget about Clerks 3. Kevin Smith’s next film will be the walrus horror flick, Tusk!

933911_10151443621741344_1309589823_nThis is completely true, straight from the mouth (well, the typing fingers) of Silent Bob himself. The long-awaited Clerks 3 will still be happening soon, but in the meantime, Kevin Smith and his buddies came up with a wild idea during one of their recent podcasts.

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According to Kevin Smith, while preparing material to laugh about while they record, he came across this odd listing from GumTree.uk, a website that specializes in living situations and apartments to rent :

A homeowner offers a living situation free of charge – the only caveat being the lodger would have to dress like a walrus from time to time.
The listing was written eloquently and briefly mentioned that the writer had once been lost at sea, with a walrus he nicknamed Gregory as his only companion. The author writes of being heartbroken by the separation from the walrus, and identifies the whiskered beast as better company than any humans he’d ever known. To this end, the author is interested in recreating the best time of his life, with a would-be lodger in a realistic walrus costume standing in for the beloved Gregory.

The listing got my creative juices flowing and I began reconstructing the whole thing as an old British Hammer horror film, in which a mad scientist intends to sew some hapless lodger into counterfeit blubber, creating a chimera in an effort to answer the ultimate riddle, “Is man, indeed, a walrus at heart?!”

Mosier and I took the tale in more and more ridiculous directions, cracking ourselves up. And then, in the midst of all the fun, you can hear something strange happen: as stoned as I always am, this walrus picture was starting to sound like a worthy endeavor – or at the very least, a movie I’d like to see.

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As the podcast episode progressed (which you can hear in its entirety here), the idea grew into a full-fledged real thing, and the next day a slew of encouraging tweets kept Smith’s wheels turning on the idea.
A breakthrough came when he had the fine idea to cast the great Michael Parks as the lead, and he actually sat down and cranked out this script!

According to Smith :

The key to writing Tusk was having no agenda. The whole script had been conceived and written with little thought of eventual production. It was an exercise in “
If I Was Trapped On a Movie Set, What Would I Wanna See?” – and what I realized I wanted to see was Michael Parks making long speeches and acting his 73 year old ass off.

1239764_10151559534496930_1967695047_nHe continues :

I fell in love with Michael Parks the moment he opened his mouth in From Dusk Till Dawn. His mannered performance hooked me through the gills and his eyes pulled me onto the boat and hammered me dead. As we left the Sunset 5 pre-release screening back in 1996, I remember saying to Scott Mosier “I wanna work with that cop from the opening scene. Can you imagine what you’d learn sitting at the feet of an acting Yoda like him?”
It took around 15 years to reach my directing Dagobah, but I eventually studied with Yoda. The reason Red State exists is so I could watch Michael Parks drop a performance clinic in person.

But Michael never got the props he deserved for his dazzling Red State performance – and that was my fault. The spectacle at Sundance which marked the difficult birth of Red State put me and my big fat mouth front and center instead of the actual film. In my head, anyone who saw the movie should’ve been talking about how amazing Parks was as the sinister Abin Cooper. But if they wrote about the flick at all (if they even saw it: there were only ever 18 public exhibitions of the film in America), what most folks wrote about was the drama surrounding self-distribution. Sure, Michael won a big award for his performance at the Sitges Film Festival, but he should’ve gotten more plaudits – and he didn’t because I was barking through a bullhorn at the center of the three ring circus. All. My. Fault.

So as I wrote Tusk, it became a sort of redemptive exercise: I wanted to right what I felt was the only wrong of Red State by scripting something with no religious or sexual politics that could grow up to be a weird little movie and not an indie film call-to-arms or a frustrated self-distribution manifesto. I just wanted to showcase Michael Parks in a fucked up story, where he could recite some Lewis Carroll and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner to some poor motherfucker sewn into a realistic walrus costume.

kevin-smith-tusk-clerks-iii-giHe has now reportedly completed the script for “Tusk”, and has arranged for a “quick and dirty” 20-day shoot starting this month.
Personally, I think this is a fascinating idea, and an ispiring move by Smith.
The whole thing went from wonky idea, to script, to production in the matter of a month.
I know that I, for one, will be looking forward to seeing Tusk!

 

As he says, the moral of the story is to “Chase every dopey dream you ever have, so long as it doesn’t involve hurting or killing anybody.”
Thanks for the inspiration!

 


Great Halloween Costumes for the whole family.

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