Director Kevin Smith is best known for making independent comedies like Clerks, Mallrats and Chasing Amy but he excited fan-boys everywhere when he announced in 2006 that he was planning to make a horror film called Red State. While production on the film has had some false starts since then it was announced earlier this year that Smith had finally found financing and that production on the film would start later this summer. We recently had a chance to speak with the fan-favorite director and part-time comic book writer while he was promoting his latest film, Cop Out, which is available on Blu-ray and DVD on July 20th. We asked Smith about the upcoming project and what fans can expect from his first horror film.
"Yeah Red State, It's weird the older I get, the more I kind of try to do shit differently, like I've done this so let me try to do something else," Smith explained. "What I used to love about this business was oral announcements. Zack and Miri Make a Porno was the last film where I was into dropping hints on the message board. I'd drop pictures of just the actor's eyes and I got really into it. Now I'm almost forty and that Southwest thing cured me of fucking ever wanting to see my name in a newspaper again. Now I don't give a fuck and I used to love it so much. So this time I'm just trying to do it differently. Let's kind of quietly make the movie, you know, let everyone know when it's done and I've never been that guy before. The announcements are cute but it's not all predicated on that. It should be more like watch the movie then afterwards we'll talk about it. With Red State it's a different beast," the director continued. "Because it's the first time since Clerks that I'm trying to go, not with unknown actors, but with actors that you're going to see onscreen and not know their names. It's a weird kind of in between neither place I'm reaching for, it's not complete unknowns and it's not remotely fucking recognizable name actors. It's really tough to find an actor whose name you don't know. I'm trying to cast this movie in a way where people watch it and can absorb it and not think about, oh I see that dude all the time or that's Jason Mewes."
Before we had a chance to ask another question, Smith continued further by telling us the following story. "Its ironic, this is the first time that I've gotten calls from every agency thus far in town pitching me huge fucking talent. Big talent man, like Academy Award winning talent. Serious actors, I don't mean, hey this guy is huge right now. I mean serious legends because there is a part in the movie that calls for an older guy," Smith explained. "We have not cast anyone so far in these major roles, as far as the agencies know, and these cats call me up and start pitching me these names. It would be wrong to share those names, I would have when I was twenty-five or thirty but I'm forty now so I will give these old fuckers some dignity. There are some huge fucking names offered to me and each time I'm like why would you be calling me? This is suspicious. I don't get these kinds of calls. They say, well it's because of your name and people want to work with you. I was like, don't bull shit me, why are you calling? They said, nothing's happening right now. Nobody is working in this town. Honestly dude, you are one of the only games in town. So it's ironic that I could have my pick of grade-A talent right now and I want to cast unknowns. That's the key with this one and it's kind of ironic," concluded Smith.
Finally, we wanted to know about Smith's other previously announced project, Hit Somebody, a Hockey comedy based on the popular song by the late Warren Zevon with Seann William Scott attached to star. Smith confirmed that the project is still on track and that he has already completed seventy to eighty pages of the script. We finished by asking the director if he had any plans to try and incorporate The Late Show's David Letterman into the film? Letterman was a close friend of the deceased singer/songwriter and actually sang background vocals on the original recording of the song. "Absolutely man, I have to get him involved somehow," answered Smith.