Kevin Smith talks Tusk, Clerks III and Helena Handbag (a.k.a. Christzilla)

Kevin Smith talks Tusk, Clerks III and Helena Handbag (a.k.a. Christzilla)

Despite announcing his retirement from filmmaking, Kevin Smith is currently putting the finishing touches to his low-budget horror Tusk, and still has plans to explore the further adventures of Dante and Randall with Clerks III, which he intends to shoot in 2014. However, it seems he’s also added another project to his slate in in the sure-to-be-controversial Helena Handbag, which based upon a story from his SModcast podcast and “mankind teaming up with Hell to save existence from extinction at the hands of a Rapturing giant Jesus.”. Posting on his official Facebook page, Smith has given an update on all three projects…

On the most recent episode of SModcast, I talked about my new mantra in regards to filmmaking: from now until I drop dead, I’m only ever gonna make a flick that only I would/could ever make. JERSEY GIRL, ZACK & MIRI, COP OUT – while I love them all, these are movies anybody could make. Like ‘em or hate ‘em, nobody else but me could’ve (or would’ve) ever made CLERKS. Or CHASING AMY. Or DOGMA. Or RED STATE. Or CLERKS II. Or MALLRATS. Or JAY & SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK. I let my view askew get standardized for awhile there – so much so that I was happy to walk away from it all for three years and do other shit. But after conceiving and shooting TUSK in less than 6 months (with the help of a shit ton of amazing professionals and a budget smaller than that of RED STATE), I realized that film isn’t in my blood… MY films are in my blood. And some of ‘em are still in there, so I better get ‘em out! And now that I’ve spent the last three years clothing/feeding/housing me and my family without a dime of movie money, I know that I don’t NEED film to pay my bills anymore. So I can make a movie when I feel like it, and if I’ve got nothing to say in a screenplay, I can just fuck off for awhile and do other shit until I do have a movie in me. Like I think I do right now. 

January will conclude with me and my Tusketeers getting together again – this time in Los Angeles, to shoot all the Guy Lapointe scenes we still owe for TUSK. Our composer Chris Drake (the genius behind THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS animated feature score) is currently finding the music of TUSK. That means there’s not much for me to do until the end of the month. I’ll be recording podcasts and shooting SPOILERS every week (see it in Canada on Comedy every Friday at 9:30; U.S. info coming in January), but when I’m not doing that, I’ve decided to push a little whimsy again – like I did with #WalrusYes. The idea is to, once again, take an episode of SModcast and turn it into a movie. It’s worked out quite nicely with TUSK (thanks largely to the cast, the crew and the good folks at Demarest and at a24, who’ll be releasing the flick this fall), so I wanna see if I can do it again. Granted, this time the plot of the movie concerns mankind teaming up with Hell to save existence from extinction at the hands of a Rapturing giant Jesus – which means the budget has to be LOW, because NOBODY’S gonna wanna make that movie. At all. And I know this going in, so I won’t be heartbroken if it never goes beyond the script. But… if the script is funny enough? Who knows? That walrus movie seemed pretty daffy and far-fetched until we were standing on the TUSK set bringing that shit to life four months and change after first making it up in episode 259 of SModcast. 

And right now, the aim is to shoot CLERKS III this May – so this HELENA HANDBAG picture would still be a ways off anyway. But why sit around commenting on other people’s lives and art on the internet when I can try to make some NEW art instead? As for the title: If you heard the podcast, you know Scott suggested CHRISTZILLA in place of HOLY CHRIST! – the title of the fake movie in the original podcast. I asked the audience to offer up their suggestions at #BeatChristzilla and they were all really fun! But I’m going with the title HELENA HANDBAG – which comes directly from the plot of the flick (it’s kind of a nod to David Lynch’s unproduced ONE SALIVA BUBBLE screenplay, too – which was also about the end of the world and also carried a title that didn’t really prepare you for what the movie was about). So I’m off to write HELENA HANDBAG

Are you happy that Kevin Smith has postponed his filmmaking retirement? And what are your thoughts on Helena Handbag? Let us know in the comments below…