For the last couple of years, Kevin Smith has been insisting that he would be wrapping up his film directing career soon, siting a lack of stories that he is feeling a desire to tell. At first his swansong was set to be Hit Somebody, a hockey film based off of a song by Warren Zevon, but that seems to be stuck somewhere in development hell. More recently, Smith announced that he had an urge to tell a third, and final, story about register jockeys Dante ad Randall, the Clerks that started his career. Now it looks as if the creative juices are still flowing strong as Smith announced today on Facebook that he is embarking on scripting yet another film -
HOW TO NOT WAIT (or #WALRUSyes)
When I submitted the script for ZACK & MIRI MAKE A PORNO to The Weinstein Company, rather than wait for the phone to ring with a yes or no, I busied myself writing something else instead. That time-killer was the script for RED STATE. So now, a week after I’ve submitted the CLERKS III package to Bob Weinstein, rather than stare at the phone in anticipation of the response, I’m busying myself writing something NEW! I’m currently 50 pages into it and, just as with RED STATE, I’m hoping it will also star the great Michael Parks! Ta-da! Like I’ve said before, Kids: Follow every dopey dream you ever get that doesn’t involve hurting anybody – because we’re all gonna die screaming one day regardless. Or, to borrow from Loudon Wainwright’s High, Wide and Handsome… “Let’s live it up! Might as well: we’re all dying.”
Despite a few small problems, I found Red State to be quite a strong movie and an interesting departure from Smith’s usual output. And the idea of Smith working with Parks, whom he cast as a maniacal preacher in Red State, is certainly exciting.
You’ll notice that the script is based on a story recently told on the director’s SmodCast podcast. During the episode, Smith reads from an advertisement posted on Gumtree.com (a British Craig’s List/classified ads type of website, it appears) -
Hello, I am looking for a lodger in my house. I have had a long and interesting life and have now chosen Brighton as a location for my retirement. Among the many things I have done in my life is to spend three years alone on St. Lawrence Island. These were perhaps the most intense and fascinating years of my life, and I was kept in companionship with a walrus whom I named Gregory. Never have I had such a fulfilling friendship with anyone, human or otherwise, and upon leaving the island I was heartbroken for months. I now find myself in a large house over looking Queens Park and am keen to get a lodger. This is a position I am prepared to offer for free (eg: no rent payable) on the fulfillment of some conditions. I have, over the last few months, been constructing a realistic walrus costume, which should fit most people of average proportions, and allow for full and easy movement in character. To take on the position as my lodger you must be prepared to wear the walrus suit for approximately two hours each day (in practice, this is not two hours every day – I merely state it here so you are able to have a clear idea of the workload). Whilst in the walrus costume you must be a walrus – there must be no speaking in a human voice, and any communication must entail making utterances in the voice of a walrus – I believe there aer recordings available on the web – to me, the voice is the most natural thing I have ever heard. Other duties will involve catching and eating the fish and crabs that I will occasionally throw to you whilst you are being the walrus. With the exception of this, you will be free to do whatever you choose, and will have a spacious double room, complete run of the house (with the exception of my bedroom and my workshop), and use of all facilities within. I am a considerate person to share a house with, and other than playing the accordion my tastes are easy to accomodate.
While there is definite room to take this ad and head towards a comedic story, Smith suggests on SmodCast that he is looking at it as something like “a 21st century Hammer horror film.” To me, it sounds like it could be a furry version of Single White Female.
Smith and co-host Scott Mosier, who also serves as Smith’s film producing partner, spend a bit of time joking about the advertisement before Smith ventures that it might make a good movie saying that it could possibly be -
[A] cuddlier version of Human Centipede where you got somebody whose just like ‘I’m holding you captive and doing something fucked up with you,’ but instead of sewing your mouth to someone’s asshole, he just sews you into this fuckin’ suit.
I suppose that after he finished recording the episode, he gave it some further thought and set to work.
Now I don’t expect that Smith is writing this just to hand off to someone else to direct. That just doesn’t seem to be his style. I would guess that we just may have to postpone that retirement party for a little while longer.