Kevin Smith’s horror script Red State was given a pass by The Weinstein Co. The impression I have gotten so far is that Red State might be the type of horror film that Hollywood may be too afraid to make.
I remember a day when Harvey wasn’t ever afraid. But we now live in a post-Grindhouse world, where even Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez can’t guarantee an nontraditional film will make money. This is rather disappointing because it appears to be Smith’s most unique script yet (far away from his normal “dick and fart joke comedy”).
“It’s the first time Harvey and Bob have passed on anything I’ve wanted to do, but if they were gonna pass on anything, this’d be the one to do it on. The only explanation Michael gives me is ‘Harvey thought it was more of a Bob flick and then Bob didn’t get it. They’d rather just concentrate on ‘Zack and Miri’ at the moment, which we’re all pumped about.'”
“Naturally, this makes me wanna make “Red State” even more than I did just prior to that phone call. I get excited thinking about having to raise financing for our hot potato of a flick. This represents a turning point of sorts for Scott and I, inasmuch as everything (with the exception of Mallrats) has been made with the Weinsteins. It might be nice to see if we can get something done without them. Whether it’ll be nice or not, however, it’s what’s in the cards, as they don’t feel the flick is very commercial. And, in truth, on the surface, it may not be – unless we get the buzz I think we’ll get off the festival circuit. Regardless, it’s not something we’ll have to think about ’til after we’re done with Zack and Miri Make a Porno.”
Smith published Harvey’s initial e-mail response to the film in September, and it didn’t sound positive back then:
I’ve been traveling back and forth between festivals so I’m sorry I have not been in touch. Your new script is quite disturbing and challenging, a departure from what I’m used to reading from you. I’d like my brother to take a look and get his thoughts.
All my best,
Honestly, I think it would be interesting to see Kevin and Scott go back to their low budget indie roots and just make a film themselves. It seems like Smith initially wanted to take that approach with Clerks 2 (more of the low budget than the independently financed part), but in the end it didn’t make sense having all the cast and crew work for next to nothing on a sequel. Plus I think The Weinstein’s wanted a bigger name for the Becky role, which eventually went to Rosario Dawson.0 But looking back now, I can’t imagine the movie without Rosario.
On his popular podcast show, Smith has mused about independently financing a film through his friends on MySpace (seriously). He brought up the idea that the friends that invested would get points on the back end. Obviously this is a very unrealistic approach, and I’m sure with all the venture capital out there, Smith will find someone, if not another studio, to do his horror film.
It will be interesting to see how this develops. Obviously, Kevin and crew will be starting full time work on Zack and Miri soon, so this will be on the back burner until post production hits.