Back in July we shared the news that CLERKS and RED STATE director Kevin Smith was moving ahead with his body horror film TUSK, which the director described as a "cuddly version of THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE". In case you are out of the loop on this one, the story is based on the strange true tale of a man who was lost at sea for six months with a walrus and, after returning, puts out an ad looking for a roommate. That doesn't sound too scary itself, but one of the stipulations for the resident required the person to wear a walrus costume for 2 hours a day, acting like his aquatic friend. And that's where it gets weird.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly Smith revealed that WAITING... and DRAG ME TO HELL star Justin Long is now attached to star in TUSK. While I personally think Long is a pretty damn good actor and will certainly be a huge asset to Smith's production, I can't help to be slightly disappointed in the casting as Long will be tackling the role of the walrus-wardrobed resident...a role that Smith originally wanted Quentin Tarantino to take! Yes, I would've gladly shelled out my hard-earned coin to see Tarantino in that role. But hey...I'm sure Long will do just fine. As does Smith, who went on to say...
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.”
I like that Long thinks the idea of the film is 'awfully scary' as Smith, who is best known for comedy, wants audiences to know that TUSK is horror through and through, even going as far as comparing it to a classic tale of terror.
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.”
Smith also shared that TUSK will act as an "ivory bridge" to his long-awaited CLERKS III, but also shared a little info on why he's tackling TUSK first and when we could expect to see it.
"I think Tusk will be an ivory bridge, if you will, to 'Clerks III.' I finished up the script [for 'Clerks'] in May or June, but the timetable is pretty tough because the budget is larger. 'Tusk' is a moveable feast at like $2 million and change, so it was way more nimble to put that together. Tusk was just something to do while waiting for news back on 'Clerks III.' Suddenly, people were like, “Really? A human walrus? That sounds fucked up.” It suddenly took pole position. Then I started going, “Look, I do this, it’s going to make 'Clerks III' even easier to do. I can warm up for 'Clerks III.' It’s been a couple of years. Maybe I need some warmup pitches. But you definitely will see 'Tusk' before you’ll see 'Clerks III.' And if I have my way, you’ll see 'Tusk' up in Sundance in January."
TUSK is set to head in front of the cameras on October 21, so it will be quite a feat to have the film ready for Sundance, but I'm sure Smith and company are up for the task.
We'll keep you posted on news regarding TUSK as we hear it.