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Kevin Smith’s TUSK Finds Distribution With A24

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.

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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.

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22 comments

  • Smith has said on many occasions he makes movies or his fans. And only cares about them. Red state was well accepted by his fans. And most of them call it one of there favorites. So just because you didn’t like it doesn’t mean he failed.

  • Ok, I get that not everybody will be on board with this idea, and I’ll agree that Red State was not his finest work (even if it was probably his best looking to date) – however, to say that Red State “didn’t go well” is not really entirely accurate.
    Whatever you think of his movies, Kevin Smith has proven himself to be an astute businessman over the years, and brought that acumen to the Red State production like no other. He kept the overhead extremely low by utilizing free media outlets to promote the film, saving more money on that alone than most films make in their opening weekends. On top of that his value-added distribution model of touring with the film personally basically took piracy out of the equation. Whether people watched advanced screeners online or not really didn’t hurt his ticket sales because anybody that was willing to pay for the film also got a Q&A session with the man himself.
    Even if you hated Red State, you cannot deny the fact that the film proved that a unique business model based almost solely off of social networking was not only a possibility, but extremely successful. The man played to his audience, laughed all the way to the bank, and the audience that already loved the man got what they paid for.
    So, no sir, I would say it went very well.

  • If you listen to the podcast Tusk is based on, you’ll have to agree that it’s at least ambitious. Smith is just excited that the idea played out on Smodcast; don’t take the “first movie based on a podcast” thing too seriously

  • you apparently didnt do your research, did you not listen to the smodcast episode where the plot to tusk came about? why are you discrediting his “first movie based on a podcast” statement when that is in fact what it is. its not based on smodcast as a whole but its based on the single episode “the walrus and the carpenter”

  • Red State was an excellent commentary on this world today. It pokes at both the evil side of religion, as well as the evil side of politics. Excellent cast, excellent story, excellent film. Also, stop criticizing Smith when you can’t even get your own facts straight. Try being nicer, all Kevin is trying to do is what he loves, and use his artistic voice (finally). Don’t discourage him. Also, David Lynch & Stanley Kubrick’s movies were bashed back in the day, now they’re WORSHIPED. For instance The Shining; people thought it sucked when it came out, now they say it’s the greatest horror film of all time.

  • You condescending hipster twat. If you actually reported more actual FACTS than asserting your empty minded, sarcastic opinions on someone being creative, attentive to HIS audience and basically one of the best filmmakers of the past 20 years you could have actually made a good report a unique project. Hardwick, fire this hack!

  • while I respect you’re opinion (because we’re all entitled to them) I have high hopes for TUSK. Red State wasn’t perfect, but it was a rather impressive attempt for a strictly comedy writer/director to jump to the horror genre. Hopefully he’s learned well from Red State and TUSK will be an impressive leap forward.

  • “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.”

    Umm… Okay.

    Do you have any idea how much time an effort goes into making a movie from scratch? Actually listen to the episode. Seriously. No joke. Take a goddam hour to listen to it before popping off at the word processor:

    http://smodcast.com/episodes/the-walrus-and-the-carpenter/

    Listen to his voice. He clearly thought it was awesome. Awesome enough to pen a screenplay himself and go though the entire process of getting it made which you, yourself, admit was not easy. And as a “horror fan” why are you not supporting the people creating original ideas in horror rather than making shitty remakes and sequel.

    Finally, you said his movie “did not go well” and backed up that statement solely by referring to negative reviews? Come on. Don’t even get me started listing the best movies in the history of film that were panned by critics.

    Jesus. Don’t you have some shitty, big budget, nightmare of a horror film you can go after? You didn’t even bother get your facts right before publishing this crap, let alone fully think through your opinion. This is drivel. Hardwick himself says view then judge. I really expect more from Nerdist.

  • To say that Kevin is making TUSK because “this is so crazy let’s see if we can get the money for it!”. Is both insuting to him and jut proof that you have neither taken the time to research Kevin in general, or to listen to the Smodcast episode that the idea came from. If you did either, you would know that Kevin makes the movies that he himself would like to see, and therefore his audience would be likely to enjoy. And had you listened to ‘The carpenter and the Walrus’ you would hear the unbridled joy in Kevs voice when he and Scott Mosier are coming up with the premise for what would become TUSK. I really expected more from a Nerdist article, Hardwick is usually the one to express a wish that people don’t judge things prematurely, and to not base your opinions on hearsay.
    Sorry if that was a bit rambly.

  • “Um. Okay….”

    Red State was the most original and entertaining movie I had seen in years, not to mention just plain awesome.

    Maybe Nerdist should step back for a minute, admire the fact that this fellow podcaster took an idea (from a podcast) and made it into a movie because he believed in it and so did his fans. Why shame someone for that before even seeing the movie or possibly not even listening to the podcast that said movie is based off of. Have a little faith man.

    I CANT WAIT FOR TUSK TO COME OUT!!!!

  • Well, initially I was planning on berating you, Clarke Wolfe, for posting an op-ed piece and headlining it as if it were an actual news article; as well as giving you the ‘what-for’ because of your incredibly ignorant-sounding points.
    However, it seems previous commentators have beat me to it, and probably in better ways.
    So I will leave a very simple, “YEAH!” in support of one of my favourite Hollywood residents, Kevin Smith.

  • I don’t “troll” people – especially on this site, but this was clearly you just voicing your opinion about a movie that happened 3 years ago, and because you didn’t have this platform then, you’re saying it now.

    I don’t love Kevin Smith, but I tend to agree with everyone else here, go fuck yourself – this was a useless article whether you view as “news” or “criticism” – you should at least put a header that states “Op-Ed” so we know what to expect.

  • Um, what they said, but with less vitriol. I tend to avoid reviews thesr days, partly because our the Rd State reviews which seemed more often to be bitter comebacks at Smith’s unorthodoxed release plan and bucking of the system than a thought out review of the film. So excited.

  • Is the doubtful negativity a result of soreness for being publicly called out on shoddy reporting by Kevin Smith himself? I would guess that that was the case based on the unnecessary and somewhat catty opinion tagged onto the end of this “Report.”