Universal Studios’ Dark Universe is off to a rocky start. Rumors say that the Dark Universe production offices are a ghost town with most of the projects being “postponed or “possibly canceled.” The future for Universal to establish a monster cinematic universe looks grim.
However, not everyone is so pessimistic towards the possibilities of Dark Universe. Writer and director Kevin Smith spoke about his interest in tackling one of the Universal monsters on his podcast Fatman on Batman. Smith goes on to say:
“I’ll do one! If they want me to do Creature from the Black Lagoon. I would do that in a fuckin’ heartbeat! That would be amazing. I don’t know what the story would be, but I would tell you this much Creature from the Black Lagoon from the guy who made TUSK at the budget of TUSK? I would see that fucking movie. Then again, I saw TUSK too and I was alone when I saw it so…”
Most of the mainstream movie audience may know Kevin Smith as more of a personality from his many convention and Q&A appearances, as well as for his slicker comedies such as Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and of course the movie that started it all; Clerks. Yet what you may not know is he has experience, passion and the ability to craft a solid creature feature. His off kilter modern Kafkaesque horror tale entitled Tusk is proof of that.
What originally began as a classified advertisement on a home rental website for a man seeking out an nontraditional roommate. This roommate would have to dress up like a walrus. Suffice it to say, the wheels in Smith’s head began to turn wildly as he conversed with his co-host Scott Mosier on their podcast, SModcast, about the ad. Fleshing this idea out in a haze of medicinal marijuana and just pure Smith genius the idea for Tusk was born!
While Tusk is more of a dark comedy, Smith is not afraid of diving into dark realms. The director has tackled material that has been more serious than comedic, such as his 2011 movie Red State. Red State, featuring the late and great Michael Parks, focuses on a fanatical religious cult who deal with those who do not see eye to eye with their world view in particularly gruesome ways.
Given the damsel in distress scenario that is so indicative of the old school Universal films and the era they were originally released in, Smith would need to sharpen up the dialogue – something he does very well. His love of Spielberg’s Jaws would further strengthen some of the areas where a possible remake would become more of an action flick as opposed to a small, unsuccessful dark thriller. If anyone could breathe life into and resurrect the Dark Universe my money is on Smith.
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