Johnny Depp is reportedly set to star in Kevin Smith’s up-coming offbeat horror film Tusk. The announcement of the A-list actor’s involvement with the film comes curiosity of fellow cast member Justin Long who let the news slip in a recent interview with Long Island Newsday. Depp is rumored to be playing the small but vital role of a French-Canadian detective named Guy Lapointe.
Written and directed by cult filmmaker Kevin Smith, Tusk is set to be a horror film of a very different breed. Tusk stars Justin Long as Wallace Bryton, a podcast host and journalist that goes missing in a remote area of Manitoba, Canada. Wallace had been trying to secure an interview with an old mysterious seafarer with a strange obsession with walruses named Mr. Howe played by Red State’s Michael Parks. Soon after his disappearance, Wallace’s girlfriend played by Genesis Rodriguez as well as his best friend and podcast co-host Teddy Craft, The Sixth Sense and A.I. star Haley Joel Osment, go out on the hunt for their missing friend. Johnny Depp will star as the detective on the case to track down Wallace in Kevin Smith’s up-coming horror film Tusk.
Tusk will be Kevin Smith’s second horror film after the cult writer/director made his first foray into the genre with 2011’s Red State. The idea for the bizarre and offbeat film came during the recording of one of Smith’s incredibly popular podcasts with his longtime producer and close friend Scott Mosier. In the SModcast episode #259 entitled The Walrus And The Carpenter, Smith and Mosier discuss an advertisement featured on the website Gumtree about a lodger offering accommodations free of charge provided that the tenant agrees to spend part of each and every day dressed in a walrus costume. After the episode aired, Smith went onto Twitter and begged the question from his followers if they wanted to see the hypothetical film described during the podcast. Smith’s Twitter followers were instruced to tweet back either ‘#WalrusYes’ or ‘#WalrusNo’ depending on their stance. An large majority tweeted back ‘#WalrusYes’, eagerly excited about the possible horror film and Smith entered into production soon thereafter. During the film’s production, it was revealed that the original ad placed on the website was a hoax by Chris Parkinson who was then asked to come onboard as a producer by Kevin Smith.
Tusk was filmed predominately in North Carolina with a few days done in Los Angeles. Sony Pictures acquired the horror film at this year’s Berlin Film Festival in February for international distribution while A24 Films will oversee the domestic distribution. Tusk is expected to hits theaters this fall.
While the casting of Depp may come as a surprise to most, Smith did tweet a few months ago about securing a close friend and A-list actor for a small part in the film. Depp and Smith have attended several charity events in together in their local area over the years while their daughters went to the same school for a period of time and are said to still be close friends. Tusk will be the first time mega star Johnny Depp has been featured in a Kevin Smith film. Johnny Depp’s next starring role is in the science-fiction thriller Transcendence directed by Christopher Nolan’s longtime cinematographer Wally Pfister hitting theaters on April 18th.
By Benjamin Murray