Writer/director Kevin Smith has certainly seemed to have recharged his creative batteries of late. For a director who was talking about retirement just a year or so ago, he has since written the script for a third Clerks film, a rapture comedy screenplay called Helena Handbasket that he may change into a stage musical as well as written the horror film Tusk, which he has only just completed filming. Tusk had its origins in a discussion Smith was having on one of the podcasts he hosts about a rather weird ad that appeared in the British version of Craig’s List where someone was looking for a roommate, but only on the condition that the person would have to dress up in a walrus costume for a certain number of hours a day.
Smith has now announced that he has a second screenplay written based off a podcast discussion. And this time, the film features a few new things for the director. It is the first time that he has collaborated with another person in the writing process and additionally, it is the first time that he has written an anthology where all the stories will be loosely based on the European Christmas legend of the Krampus.
As Smith himself stated on his Silent Bob Speaks blog –
If you listen to the EDUMACATION podcast, you’ll remember that episode 20 (Part 2 of the Christmas eps) consisted of another dopey conversation that resulted in a screenplay – a’la SModcast and TUSK. I was goofing around with Mr. Edumacation himself, Professor Andy McElfresh, when we accidentally brainstormed a Christmas horror anthology that would eschew the gruesome spin on Santa Claus, and instead embrace the Scandinavian/German Kid-Eating Christmas creature known as the The Krampus. That podcast was released 12/23/13.
It took us less than a month, but Andy and I have finished the screenplay for a flick we’re calling COMES THE KRAMPUS! It’s 99 pulse-pounding pages of what’s essentially SModCo’s CREEPSHOW, with four terrifying tales stitched together by a freaky framing device. It was a blast to write and totally new to me, as I never actually wrote a screenplay WITH someone else before.
And now, to extend the spirit of collaboration even further, I’M GONNA CO-DIRECT THE FLICK WITH THE SMODCO FAMILY! Andy McElfresh will direct the “The Krampus vs. The 3rd Grade” episode (SO fucked up), Jason Mewes (yes – THAT Jason Mewes) will direct the “Hitler’s Krampus” episode (twisted period piece), I will direct the “Mask Maker” episode (the Gothic horror piece), Carol Banker will direct the “The Proposal” episode (which is fucking nuts), and Jennifer Schwalbach will direct “The Bad Babysitter” – which is the framing device that holds the whole mess together. Jordan Monsanto will produce for SModcast Pictures and the twin SModCo cherries on the top of this scary sundae? I’m gonna force my Bro Scotty Mo(sier) to act in it and Babble-Meister RALPH GARMAN will feature in every episode!
Smith reports that the film will fit in with his new ethic of low price films.
The script reads like it’s maybe a $2 million movie. We’ll start doing a schedule and a budget next week, but the idea is to shoot it right on the heels of CLERKS III (which I’m hoping to start on April 7th). It’s gonna be fun and a true SModcast Picture! There’s something to be said for the power of podcasting…
I have to admit that I am getting increasingly excited by Smith’s renewed creativity and even if every project does not turn out great, it is still interesting to see him trying new things and stretching in the direction his creative muses are taking him.