Kevin Smith’s latest attempt at a horror film, Tusk, has found distribution with distributor A24.
Tusk, starring Justin Long, Michael Parks, and Haley Joel Osment, is described, according to the press release, as “a modern-day monster movie that follows a journalist named Wallace (Long) who finds the story of a lifetime in Mr. Howe (Parks), a worldwide adventurer with amazing tales and a curious penchant for walruses.”
A24, which also distributed Spring Breakers and The Spectacular Now, is set to release the film in the U.S., while XYZ films will be handling it internationally. Tusk was produced by Demarest Films and Smith’s own SModcast Pictures.
According to Smith, the journey of this film has not been easy. Tusk was originally set up at Blumhouse Productions but Smith walked away from the deal when mega horror producer Jason Blum pushed for a January 2014 production start in order to cast an unnamed star in the film. Smith originally wanted to premiere his latest horror endeavor at Sundance this year to commemorate Clerks‘ premiere at the festival 20 years ago, but Smith walked away from the Blumhouse deal and didn’t make the January 2014 screening date either, as the film is currently still in production.
Smith has also stated that he wanted Tusk to be the “the world’s first movie based on a podcast.” Um. Okay…
Here’s the thing: I think Kevin Smith is an immensely entertaining person. His stories are legendary and I could listen to him talk about his experiences in the entertainment industry for days. But Red State, his last attempt at a sort-of-horror film, did not go well. While it was a divisive film for sure, reviews were mostly negative despite having a stellar cast at his disposal. This horror fan is a bit concerned when Smith says he wants to make the “world’s first” something or other based on a “this is so crazy let’s see if we can get the money for it!” kind of idea instead of something that he thinks will actually be a good movie.
We’ll all see for ourselves when Tusk is released this fall.
UPDATE: In a previous version of this story we incorrectly stated that Kevin Smith’s film found distribution at Sundance. While the announcement was made during the Sundance window, the deal was not made at the festival or in conjunction with a presence at Sundance. This story has been updated to remove the references to the film festival. Source: Smith himself.