Kevin Smith took some people by surprise late last month when he announced that his next directorial project wouldn’t be “Clerks III,” but instead, a horror film called “Tusk.” The project will star Michael Parks as a mad scientist who, in Smith’s own words, “intends to sew some hapless lodger into counterfeit blubber, creating a chimera in an effort to answer the ultimate riddle, ‘Is man, indeed, a walrus at heart?’ ” Wow, well, alright then. So, we already know Michael Parks and Justin Long will be in the film, but Smith has saved the biggest surprise for a guest column he did in The Hollywood Reporter: will Quentin Tarantino also have a role in the film? Will Kevin Smith actually get to work with his old filmmaking buddy?
The answer is … no. Kevin Smith had offered Tarantino the role of Guy Lapointe, a “relentless French Canadian cop on the trail of a monster-maker,” but QT turned it down. Why? According to Smith, “QT said he dug the script and couldn’t wait to watch Parks (pictured, right) let loose his internal Kraken, but he had no interest in acting at the moment. It was a bummer, as having Q in the mix would’ve been poetic.”
Perhaps Tarantino is the middle of writing his next epic, or maybe he really isn’t interested in acting in other people’s films anymore. The last film he physically appeared in that wasn’t his own was Takashi Miike’s “Sukiyaki Western Django,” and that was over six years ago. Despite him not being interested in playing the role, Tarantino apparently did like the script and is eager to watch Michael Parks unleash his “internal Kraken.”
On the bright side, Kevin Smith’s film has secured financing. After having been left reeling from Quentin’s rejection and the loss of Blumhouse Productions as financiers, a film financing banner by the name of Demarest Films has come to the rescue. And while “Tusk” is not expected to start lensing until early next month, Smith still hopes to have everything finished by January in time for Sundance. Next year’s festival, after all, would mark 20 years since “Clerks” first premiered and subsequently launched Smith’s career.
So, who will wind up playing the part Tarantino rejected? Smith won’t tell us yet, but if everything goes as planned, we’ll find out in just three months.