With both Dogma and Red State on his resume, Kevin Smith is no stranger to religious themes in his films. So while it may come as a surprise that the director who recently was talking about retirement has another new project he’s announcing, it shouldn’t be too surprising that the project will also incorporate some religious elements. In fact, the film, entitled Helena Handbag, will be a rather comic and unorthodox look at the Rapture.
Much like his currently in post-production horror flick Tusk, Helena Handbag has its origins in a discussion that Smith had with his longtime producing partner Scott Mosier on their Smodcast podcast. As Simth explains in a Facebook post from yesterday –
The idea is to, once again, take an episode of SModcast and turn it into a movie. It’s worked out quite nicely with TUSK (thanks largely to the cast, the crew and the good folks at Demarest and at a24, who’ll be releasing the flick this fall), so I wanna see if I can do it again. Granted, this time the plot of the movie concerns mankind teaming up with Hell to save existence from extinction at the hands of a Rapturing giant Jesus – which means the budget has to be LOW, because NOBODY’S gonna wanna make that movie. At all. And I know this going in, so I won’t be heartbroken if it never goes beyond the script. But… if the script is funny enough? Who knows? That walrus movie seemed pretty daffy and far-fetched until we were standing on the TUSK set bringing that shit to life four months and change after first making it up in episode 259 of SModcast…
As for the title: If you heard the podcast, you know Scott suggested CHRISTZILLA in place of HOLY CHRIST! – the title of the fake movie in the original podcast. I asked the audience to offer up their suggestions at #BeatChristzilla and they were all really fun! But I’m going with the title HELENA HANDBAG – which comes directly from the plot of the flick (it’s kind of a nod to David Lynch’s unproduced ONE SALIVA BUBBLE screenplay, too – which was also about the end of the world and also carried a title that didn’t really prepare you for what the movie was about). So I’m off to write HELENA HANDBAG.
Why do I have the feeling that the crap storm Smith was on the receiving end when he released Dogma is going to seem like a spring shower compared to hurricane of outrage from the usual sources that this will undoubtedly produce once they get wind of the project.
Still, for a guy who was pretty ready to chuck his whole film career into the trash just a short while ago, it is genuinely exciting to see Smith excited about making movies, or more specifically as he states in the rest of the post, movies “that only I would/could ever make.”
Currently Smith has some pickup shooting for Tusk scheduled for next month and hopes to have Clerks III in front of the cameras in May, so I wouldn’t expect him to get to Helena Handbag until the fall of 2014 at the very earliest.