"It's so bleak, it makes f**king Dark Knight look like Strawberry Shortcake." -- Kevin Smith on Red State
Last month, I traveled to Red Bank, New Jersey and enjoyed a very cool lunch with a very cool dude by the name of Kevin Smith. While we scarfed down some tasty Italian food, I recorded roughly an hour and a half of our conversation -- all of which would be way too much to read in one post. Thus, I've decided to break some stuff up into sections and post them separately, then I'll be back with much more in the coming days leading up to the October 31st release of the hilarious Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Toward the end of our conversation, we turned to Smith's future projects -- most notably Red State. Check out what he had to say about the film, as well as which Tarantino regular he wrote a part for.
On financing Red State: "It's tough to get money for this one. And I don't want to bring it up to [The Weinsteins] again because there's something kind of exciting about going out and trying to finance it myself and raise some financing. I mean the harsh reality is if I said hey, who wants to do my next comedy, I've got money coming out the ass. But when I hand in this, like, 89-page script that is dark, there's nobody to root for, there are no heroes, it's depressing, it's critical -- it's so bleak it makes f**king Dark Knight look like Strawberry Shortcake. Not a lot of people want to pony up for that movie, man. Especially when I start out by saying, 'Look, it's decidedly not commercial. It's not a standard horror movie where you make it for $20 million. It's bleak and it's not going to get any lighter.' People aren't whipping out checkbooks when you give them that rundown."
On finally becoming a "filmmaker": "Regardless of how commercial raunchy comedy may be right now -- or whatever Zack and Miri winds up doing at the box office -- I've made eight comedies in a row. Some funnier than others, some unintentionally funny, but it just feels like maybe I should try something else just to see. Most days I don't feel like a filmmaker, I just feel like a guy who directs the movies he writes, and what he writes are dick and fart joke movies. I'd like to make Red State -- which I think is strong and says something, and I haven't made a movie that truly says something in awhile, maybe Dogma was the last one. It'd be really nice to do it to see if I really am a filmmaker. If I do it and it works, then, great, maybe I am a filmmaker. If I do it and it doesn't work, then okay -- I'm the guy who makes dick and fart joke movies."
On the Red State script: "If you read some of my scripts, out of 120 pages, 111 of them are all dialogue and maybe nine pages make up the descriptive text. With Red State, the equation's reversed. There ain't a lot of dialogue and there's a lot of descriptive text. It's very quiet and it has to play more visually than anything else. My dream is for people to see this movie and be like, 'There's no way that guy made this movie.' Then I'll feel like I've done my job."
On casting Red State: "If someone finally coughs up some dough and they're like, look, you've got to give me a famous face in this movie, of course I'm gonna have to do it. But, ideally, I would cast unknowns or people who are just not movie stars. Like there's a role in the movie and I would love to cast Michael Parks, from Quentin's (Tarantino] stuff. The opening of From Dusk Till Dawn, he's the sheriff and sh*t. I love that guy. There's a part for that guy and I hope to God somebody lets me cast him because I love his delivery and I wrote it with that guy in mind. Now that dude's definitely more well known than an unknown, but he's not what people would call a bankable name. So that's kind of where my head is at in terms of casting."
We'll have much more with Kevin Smith in the days leading up to Zack and Miri Make a Porno's theatrical release on October 31st.
[Pictured: Kevin Smith with Harvey Weinstein at Zack and Miri premiere]
[Photos via Getty Images]