But now Smith has jumped a huge leap forward, snagging a cast for the feature, which will now begin filming on September 22.
The Wrap reports that Dermot Mulroney, Kyle Gallner, Michael Angarano, and Stephen Root are in talks to costar alongside Michael Parks in the feature, with Melissa Leo circling the project as well. Smith's plan was to cast "recognizable unknowns," and he seems to have done just that.
Dermot Mulroney: One of the easiest names to recognize, he's worked for a few decades in Hollywood, with gigs in films like Young Guns, Career Opportunities, My Best Friend's Wedding, and Georgia Rule, but always managed to exist fairly off the radar.
Kyle Gallner: The horrors on Veronica Mars have made Beaver a big name in the horror world. In the last few years, he's been in The Haunting in Connecticut, Jennifer's Body, and A Nightmare on Elm Street.
Michael Angarano: He was once the young cutie who played Young William in Almost Famous, before gun-toting with Dear Wendy and flying Sky High. Now, he's probably more known as the boy Kristen Stewart left behind for RPattz.
Stephen Root: By name, you might shrug, but the sound of his voice will send you into visions of King of the Hill, and one look will have you Pushing Daisies, listening to News Radio, and signing up for Office Space (Milton Waddams).
Melissa Leo: She started working years ago on All My Children, but in recent years, Leo has made a name for herself in a number of roles, including her Oscar-nominated turn in Frozen River and the K-Stew indie, Welcome to the Rileys.
Michael Parks: Of all the cast, I find him to be the perfect "recognizable unknown" who makes you stop and rack your brain for his name and roles. Earl McGraw is the name you might know -- the character popping up all through the Tarantino/Rodriguez world -- Grindhouse, Kill Bill, and From Dusk Till Dawn. For David Lynch fans, however, he was Jean Renault on Twin Peaks, too.
Now back to the production... Smith still hasn't finished the script for the film, but maybe this is a good thing. Though he didn't write Cop Out, I'm hoping the ire caused by the comedy's critical response will not only have him re-thinking press screenings, but also polishing Red State into a perfect diamond of a horror movie.
But what do you think? Can Smith handle horror? Do you like the cast? Weigh in below.