Kevin Smith Unretires to Make a Walrus Monster Movie, Talks Ben Affleck as Batman
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Kevin Smith Unretires to Make a Walrus Monster Movie, Talks Ben Affleck as Batman

By Dustin Rowles | Trade News | September 26, 2013 | Comments ()

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Not like anyone actually expected Kevin Smith to stay retired, but in addition to Clerks III, which is still on the backburner, Kevin Smith announced plans to make Tusk, a movie he wrote with Michael Parks (Red State) and Justin Long.

It sounds weird. Here’s Kevin Smith’s description, from EW:

It’s about a guy who turns another guy into a f-king human walrus. As weird as it is in my head when I talk about it, they finally sent me the costume designs by Robert Kurtzman, and I was like, “Holy sh-t, it’s a monster movie, I had no idea.” I thought I was making a kind of sister thriller to Red State. As soon as I saw the designs, I go, “Of course this is a monster movie and he’s Dr. Frankenstein.”

It was written for Michael Parks, who I loved in Red State. That was one of the best times I ever had my career, sitting on a set, rolling a camera on a true f-king genius, who is pretending to be somebody else and I forgot who the real guy is because his performance is so good. I wrote the script around him, so it’s nothing but Michael Parks dialogue porn. Justin Long is the guy in the walrus suit. I needed a guy who has expressive eyes because once you’re in that suit, you’re covered. I reached out to Justin and he wrote back and was like, “This is awfully scary but how can we not? Let’s fall down this hole.” So it’ll be Parks versus Long trying to answer the age-old question, “Is man indeed a walrus at heart?” It’s a f-ked up movie, dude.

Good for Smith, man. I’m glad he’s going to continue making movies, and I’m glad he’s making movies that are both f**ked up, and that he’s passionate about. He’s needed in the film world, goddamnit. He takes a lot of sh*t in the media (including from us), but you know what? In print, he can come off as an assbag, but every time I revisit one of his “An Evening with Kevin Smith” talks, I remember how f**king fantastic this guy is. Kevin Smith should never be reduced to print; it just doesn’t capture his tone, his personality, or what a good guy he is.

That said, I did love what he had to say, in print, about Ben Affleck’s reasons for taking on the Batman role. From EW:

It caught me off guard because I too thought he was on this different path. He fought his way back from wherever he was and is now at the top of the mountain. I never would’ve guessed this move. Why wouldn’t he just be like, “Argo f-k yourself,” to any superhero movie at this point. And then I realized why: If you ask an 8-year-old, “Hey, who’s Robert Downey Jr.?” they go “Iron Man!” If you ask an 8-year-old, “Hey, who’s Ben Affleck?” they look at you blankly. Now, at the end of the day, when he plays Batman, he’ll have career vitality. He’ll have bought himself another 10 years as an actor, not just as an director.

But more importantly, there are two personal reasons. One I know for a fact: the guys always wanted to play Batman. He loved Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns, and one of the reasons he did Daredevil was because [he thought] they were never going to do another Batman after the disastrous Batman & Robin. So he was like, [Daredevil] is the closest I’ll ever get to Dark Knight Returns.

He’s always wanted to play Batman. I live in Affleck’s old house, and he built a panic room and the entrance was built to look like a Batcave entrance. It’s a bookcase that you click a button and the bookcase slides back. He’s the only guy I know that would go to do something like that. I asked him, “What did that cost to do?” He was like, “50 thousand bucks.” I was like, “Worth every f-king penny, man.” That’s amazing! If you’re going to have Pearl Harbor, Armageddon type money, build a f-king Batcave entrance in your house. So he’s always loved the character.

But the real reason, I suspect — and I haven’t spoke to him in probably a year and half, two years — but he’s got three kids, including a son. What father doesn’t want to bend down, lean down into their little boy’s ear after the movie’s done and whisper, “I’m Batman.” C’mon! That’s amazing! That’s an emotional enough reason there.

Ben Affleck had a panic room designed like the Bat Cave? Of course he did.

Masterpiece Theatre is my Slow Motion BBC DVR: "Foyle's War" | Imagining a Batfleck Spin-Off Movie to Soothe the Savage Fan

Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • BlackRabbit

    The Walrus once fought Spider-Man. Why isn't Marvel all over this?

  • SottoVoce

    Whew! It's not are make of Natrue's Grave--thank goodness. One killer dugong movie is enough.

  • e jerry powell

    Okay, this is the WRONG DAY.

    Now I'm having dirty, smutty daydreams about Kevin Smith and Nick Offerman, and it's ALL PAJIBA'S FAULT.

  • Tom

    It may seem like he did retire because he's been talking about it for so long but Smith never actually did retire. Originally he said he was going to make his hockey movie called "Hit Somebody" (based on some Warren Zevon song written by useless sap peddler Mitch Albom). That has now become a miniseries at a yet to be announced network. He will do that after Clerks III and Tusk but because it won't be a movie he started to say that Clerks III would be his final "movie".

    He wrote Clerks III and planned everything about the shoot. He had to submit it to the Weinstein Company because they have right of first refusal on a sequel because they mad Clerks II. If they passed he would make Clerks III himself. His plan was to finish it to submit to Sundance 2014 because that would be the 20th anniversary of Clerks at Sundance.

    While he was waiting to hear back from the Weinsteins, he read some article about a guy looking for a human walrus renter and became fascinated with that. In the course of an episode of Smodcast he worked out a plot and characters. So he wrote that. Now I guess he is going to make that. He apparently has a budget and backing.

    Reporters tend to have a problem reporting on what Smith is doing these days because he's always talking about it. He has a ton of forums to talk about it with twitter and numerous podcasts so he is always saying something. And recently, his plans are always changing. That's a product of his weed-fueled, "stop being scared about reaction and do what I want" attitude that came after he got his expectations up for Zack and Miri and it ended up doing the same solid box office as every other one of his movies. Seth Rogen introduced him to smoking weed (which he had never really done before) on that set and it helped him get through what would have otherwise been a major career crisis.

    Of course, he also had a very negative experience directing his first non-self-written script with Cop Out. He decided that he didn't want to spend his career directing movies he wasn't passionate about just so he could work. He saw Bruce Willis showing up to that check just to cash a pay check, it made Smith's job miserable and he decided he didn't want to be that guy.

    So since then, he has made Red State (another script he wrote while waiting for a studio to get back to him), started his own studio to produce Red State and make other peoples' movies, written Hit Somebody, started a few more podcasts and toured with them, created a reality show at AMC about his comic book shop in NJ, written Clerks III, written Tusk and also helped Jason Mewes tour with a cartoon Jay and Silent Bob movie that Mewes produced. He has said many times that he will never stop telling stories but he thinks he is done making movies. If I had to guess, he will never stop making visual stories, if only because he can't stop himself from creating stories. He will probably also go on to tell these stories in other ways. And he will definitely never stop talking about his plans and then changing them and then talking about the new plan. Thus confusing the hell out of people who don't listen to every word he says like I apparently do.

  • Guest

    the aforementioned Craigs List ad for context:

  • Joe Grunenwald

    “Worth every f-king penny" indeed. So jealous.

  • Yossarian

    I think the genesis of this Walrus movie came about in a podcast where two guys sitting around high as fuck 'yes and'-ing each other about a creepy Craigslist ad that goes all Silence of the Lambs. Honestly it wasn't all that interesting as a podcast.

    This is making movies about what he is "inspired" about? I guess I'll withhold judgement until we get hints of the finished product. You all can help yourself the the Smodcast in question and see what you think.

  • Robert

    Yeah, it came from Smodcast. Specifically, Smith wanted to make something more disturbing than The Human Centipede and settled on an adaptation of The Walrus and The Carpenter.

  • Guest

    Here's the Gumtree ad for context:

    I personally thought the Smodcast episode was very funny.

  • lowercase_ryan

    I love this so much.

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