Weinsteins Pass On Smith’s RED STATE

Writer/director Kevin Smith’s much discussed horror project Red State has hit a snag, with Smith announcing on his blog today that the Weinstein Company, headed by long time Smith supporters Bob and Harvey Weinstein, have decided to pass on the script.

Smith got the word last Friday in a phone call from Weinstein exec Michael Cole, whom Smith is working with on his other currently in development project, the comedy Zack And Miri Make A Porno.

It’s a move that Smith pretty much suspected was in the works. Last month, Smith shared an email he received from Harvey Weinstein stating “Your new script is quite disturbing and challenging, a departure from what I’m used to reading from you. I’d like my brother to take a look and get his thoughts.”

Smith reacted to the email by writing in his blog-

For him to call Red State disturbing and challenging strikes me as a badge of honor. Whether it means he ends up financing it or not, we’ll see. But this is a man who built his name and company distributing challenging flicks; having him call Red State “challenging” really floats my boat.

It’s with a similar enthusiasm that Smith greeted the news that the Weinsteins were passing on the script.

It’s the first time Harvey and Bob have passed on anything I’ve wanted to do, but if they were gonna pass on anything, this’d be the one to do it on. The only explanation Michael gives me is “Harvey thought it was more of a Bob flick and then Bob didn’t get it. They’d rather just concentrate on Zack and Miri at the moment, which we’re all pumped about.

Naturally, this makes me wanna make Red State even more than I did just prior to that phone call. I get excited thinking about having to raise financing for our hot potato of a flick. This represents a turning point of sorts for Scott and I, inasmuch as everything (with the exception of Mallrats) has been made with the Weinsteins. It might be nice to see if we can get something done without them. Whether it’ll be nice or not, however, it’s what’s in the cards, as they don’t feel the flick is very commercial. And, in truth, on the surface, it may not be – unless we get the buzz I think we’ll get off the festival circuit. Regardless, it’s not something we’ll have to think about ’til after we’re done with Zack and Miri Make a Porno.

I have to admit that I am a little surprised that the Weinsteins passed on the screenplay. From what Smith has stated, it definitely had its share of controversial elements. The basic premise had a group of people on the run from an extremely demented, Fred Phelps-like religious figure. For the Weinsteins to pass on it when they stood up for Smith during the whole Dogma brouhaha only whets my appetite to see this film. Here’s hoping he can get the financing.

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About Rich Drees 7210 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty-five years experience writing about film and pop culture. He is a member of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle.
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