Although Kevin Smith already declared back in March that the upcoming Clerks III would be “the best film I’ll ever make,” based on the encouraging focus-grouped response of a stoned and giggling Kevin Smith, it now faces some serious competition in the form of Tusk. In this typically wordy Smith interview in Entertainment Weekly, the director—whose final statement on his filmmaking career unsurprisingly continues to spawn lengthier and lengthier digressions—says the next of the movies he supposedly wasn’t going to make anymore will be the one he brainstormed during a June episode of his podcast, about a mad scientist who transforms a man into a walrus.
Based on the true story of a guy who sought a roommate to pretend to be a walrus in exchange for free rent—a story Smith and Scott Mosier quickly reimagined as a Human Centipede-like horror tale—it was, by Smith’s own admission, a weird idea that quite possibly only appealed to him because he was high. In other words, it was a Kevin Smith movie.
And so he pursued it, writing the part of the walrus-fixated scientist for his Red State lead Michael Parks, and even sending the script to Quentin Tarantino to see if he were interested in co-starring—all things that, once you’ve already gotten really stoned and written a movie about a man being surgically transformed into a walrus, sound perfectly reasonable. And as it turns out, it was: Smith is really putting Clerks III on hold with hopes to have Tusk ready for Sundance in January, calling it an “ivory bridge, if you will” to the sequel, one that will give him the chance to get back into the swing of indulging his every whim behind a camera again.
To that end, he’s hired Justin Long to play the walrus-man—saying he needs Long’s “expressive eyes;” sorry, Wilford Brimley—and is now out there selling the story as “Parks versus Long trying to answer the age-old question, ‘Is man indeed a walrus at heart?’” Indeed, it is a question that has long plagued so many who enjoy unlimited access to weed and financing.
Possibly aiding the production’s quick turnaround, Tusk already has a theme song.