Over at AintItCool this morning, writer Quint has a pretty good interview with writer/director Kevin Smith about his upcoming comedy Zack And Miri Make A Porno. It does get into spoiler territory, so if you’re trying to remain virgin for the film (pun intended), then you will probably want to give it a pass.
The two did get into a discussion about the status of his horror script, Red State, which Smith had actually planned on shooting before Zack And Miri, but postponed over funding issues. Smith is still having problems trying to find backers willing to put up the cash for the movie and contains some plot details for the film. As such, we’ve put the spoiler-filled quote at the other side of the link.
I’m still trying to find money for Red State, though, admittedly, I haven’t been looking that hard yet, since it’s not something I’m gonna get to ’til March the earliest. Early prospects, however, look dim. Problem is, the flick is bleak. Beyond bleak, even. Remember how bleak Dark Knight was? This flick makes the bleakness level in that flick seem Beverly Hills Chihuahua bleak. Sadly, while the flick’s bleaker than Dark Knight, it’s also not nearly as good as Dark Knight. Or as commercial. Or commercial at all, really. The commercial prospects for Red State are not good. The only chance it’ll have at the box office would be if it caught a water cooler-kinda buzz out of a film festival. So when you go down the checklist (overtly bleak, unlikeable characters making horrible decisions, unhappy ending in which everyone dies, a director of questionable talent who’s never worked in this genre before), you can see why folks aren’t whipping out their check books.
The question, then, would be “Why bother?” For some reason, I feel like I’ve gotta make this flick. Part of the reason is that I never really feel like a filmmaker most days; more of a writer who gets to direct his own flicks. Trying my hand at another genre that’s 180 degrees away from anything else I’ve ever done might finally answer the question (for me) of whether or not I truly am a filmmaker, or just the guy who makes the dick and fart jokes movies. I suspect it’s the latter. I guess we’ll see. Maybe.
Even if I weren’t a rabid Kevin Smith fan, I think that I would find this news disheartening. I like seeing any director trying to stretch outside their comfort zone. As much as I continually enjoy Smith’s comedies, and am looking forward to seeing Zack And Miri soon, I would love to see him try something in a completely different vein.
If anything, getting Red State made, it would shut up those critics of his who constantly harp that Smith seems only capable of cranking out raunchy comedies. He readily admits that he needs to prove that to himself, but I think it is something his detractors need to see as well. The obvious irony is, of course, that it is that this change of material is so drastic that it is actually a barrier to others who would lay out the cash for such a project. Everyone, himself included, wants Smith to try something new, except for the people signing the checks.