Justin Long

‘Tusk’: Images From Kevin Smith’s New Film Are As Bizarre As The Premise

Kevin Smith’s bizarre new film, Tusk, is described like this by the Internet Movie Data Base: “A man is captured by a maniac and tortured, physically and mentally, into becoming a walrus.”

The idea for Tusk is certainly unique. Pictures from the new film have surfaced on the internet in advance of Tusk premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film, described as a “horror dramedy,” stars Justin Long, Haley Joel Osment, Genesis Rodriguez, and Michael Parks as Howard Howe, the aforementioned maniac.

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The idea for Tusk can’t be credited to Smith alone. On his podcast, entitled SModcast, Kevin Smith and his longtime friend and producer discussed an ad that stated someone was offering a living situation free of charge, as long as the lodger always dressed as a walrus while in the house. Smith and his producer friend then devised an idea for a film over the course of an hour based on the ad, and ultimately asked his listeners to tweet with the hashtag #YesWalrus if they’d like to see the idea turned into a movie.

The result is Tusk.

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Kevin Smith wrote an 80-page script originally titled The Walrus & the Carpenter, but then changed the title to Tusk, saying he “knew what a movie about a walrus had to be called.”

On Kevin Smith’s blog, Silent Bob Speaks, Smith wrote about what he was trying to do with Tusk.

“I wanted to right what I felt was the only wrong of Red State by scripting something with no religious or sexual politics that could grow to be a weird little movie and not an indie film call-to-arms or a frustrated self-distribution manifesto. I just wanted to showcase Michael Parks in a f**ked up story.”

While Michael Parks is indeed showcased in the film, Quentin Tarantino is not — though Smith wanted him to be. When originally casting the strange film, Smith tried to get the quirky director to take the role of Guy Lapointe, a relentless French-Canadian cop on the trail of Parks’ character in Tusk, according to Indiewire. However, Tarantino declined.

Smith explained why.

“QT said he dug the script and couldn’t wait to watch [Michael] Parks let loose his internal Krakken, but he had no interest in acting at the moment. It was a bummer, as having Q in the mix would’ve been poetic.”

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Haley Joel Osment is also in the film, and some might say it’s his first major role in a film in over a decade (since 2003’s Secondhand Lions).

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Kevin Smith’s new film, Tusk, will be released on September 19.

[Images via The Hollywood Reporter and JoBlo]

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