By Ray Pride

A24 and Demarest team up on TUSK

 A24 will distribute Kevin Smith’s epic twist on horror to the masses in 2014.

 New York (December 10, 2013) –A24 and Demarest Films have teamed up on Kevin Smith’s latest film TUSK. The film, which stars Justin Long, Michael Parks, Genesis Rodriguez, and Haley Joel Osment, was born out of one of Kevin Smith’s immensely popular SModcasts. Currently in production, the modern-day monster movie was also written by Smith.  Sam Englebardt, David Greathouse, and Shannon McIntosh are producing.

A24 plans for a wide release of the film in the third quarter of 2014.

Said A24, “We had the privilege of visiting Kevin on the TUSK set and seeing some of his early footage. We can say with certainty that this movie will blow people’s minds. Truly one you’ll have to see to believe.”

“I’m as happy as the day Miramax bought Clerks back in ’94! We’re so lucky A24 fell in love with our walrus picture and jumped in the pool with us. I was a big fan of how they released The Bling Ring and Spring Breakers, so I was praying TUSK would take root there. If anyone knows how to bring this flick to the masses, it’s them!” says Smith.

Demarest’s Sam Englebardt added, “We’re thrilled that A24 has joined us in backing Kevin’s wild, deviant vision. Tusk will be a horror movie for the ages and we couldn’t imagine a better partner in bringing it to the world.

TUSK follows Wallace (Long) a journalist on a mission. He finds the story of a lifetime in Mr. Howe (Parks), a worldwide adventurer with amazing tales and a curious penchant for walruses.


Launched in the summer of 2012, A24 is a New York-based media company focused on the distribution, financing and production and feature films. Recent releases include Sofia Coppola’s highly buzzed about THE BLING RING and James Ponsoldt’s Sundance darling, THE SPECTACULAR NOW. The company previously released Harmony Korine’s incredibly successful SPRING BREAKERS starring Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, and James Franco. Upcoming titles for 2014 include David Michod’s highly anticipated second feature THE ROVER, Steven Knight’s Tom Hardy starrer LOCKE, Jonathan Glazer’s acclaimed Scarlett Johansson film UNDER THE SKIN and the Jake Gyllenhaal starrer ENEMY.


Funded with private capital, Demarest produces and finances a wide range of film and television projects. The firm’s broad investment mandate allows it to move quickly and decisively, invest across the debt and equity capital structure, and ultimately help filmmakers secure the largest possible portion of their budgets from one reliable source.  Demarest’s founders are themselves seasoned producers and can offer informed and collaborative backing to their artistic partners.

Recent and forthcoming Demarest projects include Anton Corbijn’s adaptation of the John le Carré novel A MOST WANTED MAN, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, Daniel Brühl, and Robin Wright, set for release in 2014; Max Nichols’s naughty romantic comedy TWO NIGHT STAND, starring Miles Teller, Analeigh Tipton, Jessica Szohr, and Kid Cudi, also debuting in 2014; Mike Flanagan’s psychological thriller SOMNIA, starring Kate Bosworth, Thomas Jane, Annabeth Gish, and Dash Mihok, currently shooting; Victor Levin’s Manhattan romance 5 TO 7, starring Bérénice Marlohe, Anton Yelchin, Olivia Thirlby, Glenn Close, and Frank Langella, currently in postproduction; Robert Rodriguez’s MACHETE KILLS, starring Danny Trejo, Michelle Rodriguez, Sofia Vergara, and Mel Gibson; and Neil Jordan’s vampire thriller BYZANTIUM, starring Saoirse Ronan, Gemma Arterton, Jonny Lee Miller, Sam Riley, and Caleb Landry Jones.


SModcast Pictures, a division of SModCo and, has produced Red State and the animated Jay & Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie, as well as COMIC BOOK MEN for AMC. They’ve also produced a series of podcast comedy specials, including Jay & Silent Bob Go Down Under for Epix.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon