Kevin Smith ruled the final Hall H session on Day 2 of Comic-Con (25) in his annual Q+A slot and used the occasion to enthuse about his return to film-making for what he called his best film.
Smith got inspired to tell the story of a man who tries to turn another man into a walrus after he discussed on his SModcast #259 a real British ad by a man offering free accommodation to whomever would agree to share his home dressed as a walrus.
“Six months after I got the inspiration on that podcast,” said Smith, “I was sitting on a set shouting ‘Action’ and Justin Long was dressed up as a walrus.”
Long stars alongside Michael Parks, who stole the show as a fundamentalist preacher in Smith’s last film, the 2011 horror Red State.
Smith famously took to the stage at the Eccles Theatre in Sundance after the world premiere of Red State and launched into an emotional tirade against Hollywood marketing.
That night he vowed to self-distribute Red State and it turned out to be his last film for a while as he focused on podcasting.
But now he is back, looking and feeling happier than ever – although quite stoned, as he told the Hall H audience – and excited.
Introducing the world premiere trailer of Tusk, Smith said, “I proudly share with you a trailer for what I feel is like the best movie I ever made.”
Long plays a podcaster who goes to interview a mysterious old man and realises too late that the man has trapped him and plans to turn him into a walrus. Genesis Rodriguez and Haley Joel Osment also star.
Smith added that Tusk would be the first of a horror trilogy, to be followed by Yoga-Hosers and Moose Jaws. The re-energised director said Clerks 3 is ramping up for a 2015 shoot.
Demarest financed Tusk in partnership with US distributor A24. XYZ Films handles international sales. A24 will distribute in the US on September 19.
Smith’s slot being what it is, the film-maker was able to talk at length about various matters close to his heart.
He delivered a heartfelt and typically foul-mouthed account of a visit to the UK set of Star Wars: Episode VII.
Perhaps skating close to the edge of a non-disclosure agreement that JJ Abrams made him sign, Smith described how he returned to his youth when he was allowed to step into the Millennium Falcon on Stage M.