Welcome to Filmmaking Business School. Today’s lesson: How to make money off of not making money. Confused? Let Kevin Smith show you how. The fan favourite filmmaker was springboarded onto the scene years ago with such cult classics as Clerks, Dogma and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, but in the last few years he’s been in a bit a rut, churning out both creative and commercial flops like Cop Out and Red State.
Due to all that floppiness, when Smith went around last year trying to get financing for his script to Clerks III, he couldn’t even raise the $6 million he needed. This prompted him saying that if he ever did get Clerks III made, it would be his last feature film. But that was before a really weird story that begun on Smith’s SMODCast ended up as the basis for enjoyably weirded-out indie horror flick Tusk, which recently opened to much critical love. And while Tusk didn’t set the box office on fire – hell, it never even give it some mild hot-flashes as it opened to a limp $846 000 – what it did was get a lot of people interested in getting back in the Kevin Smith business. Smith himself explained the situation most recently in his Hollywood Babble-On podcast (via JoBlo for the transcription):
TUSK was the absolute bridge to CLERKS III. Because of TUSK I got my financing for CLERKS III. And honestly, that wouldn’t have happened without Tusk. A year and change ago I was desperately trying to get CLERKS III made for the 20th anniversary and that desperation, I must have reeked of it because I couldn’t f*cking find money and shit. But it was Tusk, people going ‘Holy f*ck, what else do you have?’ and I was like ‘Clerks III‘ and they’re like ‘done’. So, everybody that’s like, ‘he failed, he failed’, I’m like ‘thank you, I failed into CLERKS III.”
After all the buzz surrounding Tusk, I am not just genuinely excited to see it, but also due to how it has apparently reignited Smith’s passion for filmmaking. Clerks III, now that it looks like its actually getting made, will definitely not be his final feature film as previously predicted with Smith now also sporting Yoga Hosers and Moose Jaws in the pipeline. Both horror movies are spiritual successors to Tusk, with the same cast returning for all three, and will now be known as the True North Trilogy.
The ludicrous sounding Yoga Hosers sees co-producer Johnny Depp also starring alongside his own daughter Lily-Rose Depp and Smith’s daughter Harley Quinn Smith (yes, that’s her real name). THR describes the action-adventure film as centering “on 15-year-old yoga nuts Colleen Collette (Lily-Rose Depp) and Colleen McKenzie (Harley Quinn Smith), who have an after-school job at a Manitoba convenience store called Eh-2-Zed. When an ancient evil rises from beneath Canada’s crust and threatens their big invitation to a Grade 12 party, the Colleens join forces with a legendary man-hunter from Montreal named Guy Lapointe (Depp) to fight for their lives with, according to the producers, “all seven Chakras, one Warrior Pose at a time.”
Moose Jaws has an even simpler, but even more crazy, plot description, with Smith recently saying that it’s just “just Jaws with a moose. And it’s awesome. There’s a scene where the moose eats – I’m halfway through the script – there’s a scene where a moose is eating like a nine year old kid right out of the lake and stuff.”
As silly as that sounds, a Kevin Smith firing on all cylinders can definitely make it a work. I mean, who would have thought that a movie about a bunch of folks standing around talking crap in a convenience store would be any good?
Last Updated: October 1, 2014