The news story was based on a Gumtree advertisement for a rent-free apartment, the catch being that the tenant would have to wear a “realistic walrus costume” of the owner’s own creation. The reason was that the author of the ad evidently spent three years on an isolated island, with only a walrus he named Gregory to keep him company. Missing his friend, the man expected the lodger to play a walrus for up to several hours day, at which time he is not to talk.
Amidst gasps of laughter during the podcast, Somdcast Episode 259 an idea for a low-budget body-horror movie gelled, initially as a joke. The premise being, naturally, that the advertisement is not at all innocent, as these things go. Evidently, however, not having anything to do following the completion of his Clerks III script, Kevin Smith got to work writing the movie. Parts of the story, naturally, are changed to protect from possible legal trouble. The title went from The Walrus and the Carpenter (based on the Lewis Carroll poem, already discussed in Smith’s Dogma), to simply Tusk, which has a great simplicity which makes for effective horror movie titles, and is inspired by the Fleetwood Mac song which the writer was evidently listening to during the writing process.
Kevin Smith evidently already considered casting, as well, and Michael Parks who was very chilling in Smith’s 2011’s Red State, is onboard to play the horrible landlord. Quentin Tarantino is also being cast as the investigating police officer. The film is scheduled to enter production in September, which will push back the production of Clerks III to early 2014.
I’m still wrapping up my film career. I intend to close it with Clerks III – which we’re now aiming to shoot March of 2014 (more on that when I get the info. But what I love about all this is that a movie came from a podcast. Might be one of the first situations I ever heard of where that happened, too. I’m delighted by the fact that my new world (of podcasts) is now shaping my old world (of film). New media nourishes old media and together, they produce some weird-ass art. It’s very 21st century.
The film is being made by Blumhouse Productions, which was the studio behind the popular Insidious and Paranormal Activity franchises.
What do you think, is this too weird to work? Or has Kevin Smith proved himself enough with Red State to make it work?
In a recent interview with Collider, Guillermo del Toro broke fanboy hearts saying that a Hellboy 3 is likely not going to happen in the near future.
“It’s very unlikely it’ll happen because you need things to converge so strongly. [Producer] Larry Gordon, Universal, the rights, Ron[Perlman’s] and mine’s availability, [comic creator] Mike [Mingola’s] blessing; we have pieces of that, but we don’t have all of that. You need so many things to confluence and then you need about $150 million.”
At least one of those pieces may have just fallen into place, however. Universal Studios currently owns the rights to all Hellboy projects, but since del Toro and Ron Perlman, the titular Hellboy, were working with Legendary Pictures on his new Pacific Rim, he said the following:
“Not just anybody can make this movie. I loved working for Legendary and I know for Guillermo working on Pacific Rim was one of his greatest experiences. The reason I loved working for them is because Guillermo was so happy. I came in six months into the shoot and he seemed as fresh as a daisy, simply because he was working for someone who appreciated and supported his outlandish visions of what he wanted to put on the screen. My immediate, silent wish was, wouldn’t it be great if these guys came in and helped resolve the Hellboy series.”
Legendary had an exclusive contract with Warner Brothers at the time, so them getting to work on a Universal-owned franchise was very unlikely. Here is what the Legendary’s founder Thomas Tull had to say about the rumors in a recent io9 interview:
“Seeing how we don’t own the rights to Hellboy, there may be lawyers that would get upset about that. But you know, in Guillermo’s world, maybe he can make that go away. I don’t know. [Laughs]”
It seems since that interview, however, Mr. Tull made the problem go away himself. How? By ending his contract with Warner Brothers, which was coming to an end regardless, and signing a deal with Universal earlier today! That certainly makes it seem like it might remove at least one of the hurdles del Toro spoke about.
That may also make funding less of an issue. Del Toro spoke about financing the picture in an interview with digital spy, saying he would not want to do a crowd funding campaign to pay for it.
“I’m not in favour of an established franchise, established director coming in and crowd-funding. That’s great for first, second-time directors, young guys.”
That point of view has already been expressed by filmmaker Kevin Smith, and many others. “I think I’ve missed the window based on the fact that I do have access to materials, I do have access to money. I don’t know, I feel like I should leave that for the cats that really need it at this point, ” said Kevin Smith to the Hollywood Reporter about funding the finale of his own trilogy, Clerks.
As for the other hurdles, Mike Mignola himself has always been positive, at least publicly, about the movie, and the possibility of a third one, though he did state as recently as April that the movie does not seem to be happening.
Honestly, however, the biggest obstacle I see, is the availability of the director and cast. Del Toro himself has been notorious for having more film projects than he can possibly handle, being attached to the Hobbit for a long time, and talking about his dream project “At the Mountains of Madness” for nearly a decade now (the script was apparently written by 2006). the cast have definitely expressed interest, however, despite the star’s advancing age and the physical demands for the role (Perlman is 63). Perlman said the following to Empire:
“Both Guillermo and I want to do it. Selma [Blair] and Doug [Jones] too, it’s just a question of finding someone who thinks there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.”
So, is Hellboy 3 officially in development hell? Guillermo’s prediction seems grim, but could the new Legendary deal get the ball rolling? I certainly hope so. What do you think?