Kevin Smith Is Going to ‘Helena Handbag’ with a New Rapture Film

By  · Published on December 31st, 2013

After completing his Evangelical cautionary tale Red State in 2011, Kevin Smith talked a bit about taking a breather, stating that there weren’t any more movies he wanted to make at the time. But we should all know by now to take what filmmaker says with a grain of salt, especially since the time following Red State’s premiere has been spent developing several new projects.

Smith took to his Facebook page to update his fans on his long-awaited horror flick Tusk. For a refresher, Tusk is the story of a journalist (Justin Long) who goes missing in Manitoba while interviewing a sea captain (first red flag). His best friend/podcast co-host and his girlfriend team up to go find him, but they may not want to know the gruesome truth – the seafarer has sewn him up inside a giant walrus costume to keep him company.

According to Smith, Tusk got picked up by A24 and has a fall release date. But he shared another piece of information that indicated Tusk might get a much closer premiere date. Posting a picture on his Facebook page of his past honors from the Croisette, Smith taunted fans with the line: “These are my 3 Cannes Film Festival certificates for Clerks, Dogma and Clerks II. Hoping to add one more this spring…” With Cannes’ track record of accepting returning filmmakers to their lineups, it’s fairly likely that Smith will have another shot at a fourth submission with Tusk in spring 2014.

Smith now has another new film in the works, the punnily-titled Helena Handbag (which is either a great roller derby name or the name of a pop-punk song from the early 2000s); he’s currently writing the screenplay based off a SModcast episode called “The (C)rapture.”

As he describes it, Helena Handbag is a rapture flick with a twist on where the good people want to wind up when the world starts ending. That’s because in this version of the end of days, mankind teams up with Hell to stop a vengeful, Rapturing giant Jesus from destroying the world and causing the extinction of all earthly existence. Smith smartly reasons on the podcast that the budget is probably going to be low for this production because people are probably going to hesitate getting their names getting attached to this script.

Still, more offensive and far-fetched ideas have made it to theaters. It would also be a satisfying conclusion to the end of Red State that never was; Smith has stated before that he originally wanted the film to end with an actual (bloody) rapture after the trumpet heralds, rather than just a fakeout messing with the vastly devout family. If anything, the premise of the film is going along with Smith’s filmmaking motto, that “from now until I drop dead, I’m only ever gonna make a flick that only I would/could ever make.” Sounds about right.

As for the film that seems to always be in production, but never quite makes it, Clerks III is scheduled to start shooting in May 2014. Smith had previously stated that he wanted to shoot this past fall in order to premiere at Sundance in January, but was waiting on a greenlight from the Weinsteins; it looks like he has the go ahead now.

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