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Kevin Smith Wants Johnny Depp For The Tusk Sequel, But There’s A Catch

Kevin Smith has been making movies in his ViewAskew-niverse ever since he started telling stories in the seminal independent feature Clerks. The writer-director might not have realized exactly what he was launching at that time. How could he have? But from Mallrats to Chasing Amy, from Dogma to the Clerks sequels, Smith has been playing with his “toys” and telling the types of stories he and his fans want to see. We ranked Smith’s films, so look and see how they match your order. Sometimes, things can get weird in this world. Like, when Michael Parks turns Justin Long into a hybrid creature of man and walrus. And when Johnny Depp plays a French-Canadian private investigator on the trail of this mythical beast. I’m talking about Tusk, a movie that Smith now says he wants to sequelize. And he even has a plan for Depp, if he returns. 

If you never saw Tusk, you wouldn’t recognize Johnny Depp as his eclectic character, Guy LaPointe. It’s over the top, and comical, and very exaggerated, and no doubt a lot of fun for Depp to play. So now that Kevin Smith is teasing a Tusk sequel – which he exclusively tells CinemaBlend will be called Tusks – we asked if he wants to bring Depp back to play LaPointe. And Smith told the ReelBlend podcast:

There's a version where, (for) the story I need to tell, I would have to kill him right in the beginning. I'd have to Psycho it, right? I'd have to Janet Leigh… well, she made it 20 minutes into the movie. I'd have to Drew Barrymore him at the top of screen in order to tell the story I need to tell. Which I'm not saying is not doable whatsoever and whatnot. It’s just, it's tough to bank on very famous people. Like superstars. I've learned in the past that then you become kind of at the mercy of their schedule. It's hard enough to get a movie made. I'm not going to set myself up for more difficulties by being like, ‘And we need Johnny.’ Now, that being said, in a world where he's like absolutely free, and it goes nicely with what we're doing, I would never say no. But he's not a key component right now.

This makes sense, as the story of Tusk didn’t hang on Johnny Depp’s participation. Michael Parks and Justin Long were the heart of the movie, with the audience invested in how Long’s character was going to break free from his captor… and what he’d even look like when he did. It’d be fascinating to see Depp reprise his role, as he did for Kevin Smith’s Yoga Hosers (which also starred Lily-Rose Depp). But as we also know, a lot has gone on in Johnny Depp’s life since he appeared in Tusk, so he might not be that easy to book nowadays. 

Because really, who doesn’t want more of this?

Kevin Smith told ReelBlend that he plans to have Tusks ready for fans in 2024, because that will mark the 10-year anniversary of the original horror comedy. He also, in the process, clarified by the movie ended the way that it did, with Justin Long’s walrus hybrid in an animal sanctuary. As Smith explained it:

Me doing Tusks, call it a sequel if you will, which it absolutely is. Don't get me wrong. (laugh) That to me is just like, ‘Oh, no, Those characters are interesting. I still have more story to tell.’ Like, there was a reason we left (him) the in the zoo at the end. And for years I had to eat it from people who were like, ‘The dumbest thing you ever did was leave him in the zoo at the end of that movie!’ And now I'm like, ‘Oh really? Oh, really? Tusks.’ That's how that happens, kids.

In the meantime, Smith is returning to a different classic property when Clerks 3 opens as part of a special Fathom event on September 13. That will be followed by Smith taking the movie on a tour where he’ll screen Clerks 3, and conduct Q-and-A sessions for fans. It will be a night to remember.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.