It was a strange tale to begin with but it’s just got a whole lot weirder. The Brighton Gumtree advert asking for a lodger who will dress up in a walrus costume for free rent is being made into a film by Kevin Smith of Clerks fame. While looking for stuff to talk about on his podcast Smith discovered the story of a man who became shipwrecked on an island with only a walrus as a companion looking to repeat that once in a lifetime friendship in a Queens Park flatshare.
“The listing got my creative juices flowing,” Smith says on his blog, “and I began reconstructing the whole thing as an old British Hammer horror film, in which a mad scientist intends to sew some hapless lodger into counterfeit blubber, creating a chimera in an effort to answer the ultimate riddle, “Is man, indeed, a walrus at heart?!”
By the time the podcast was half an hour in Smith was ready to pitch the idea to the production house behind Paranormal Activity. The amazing reaction on Twitter from his listeners (who voted #WalrusYes or #WalrusNo) was enough to convince him of the greatness of the idea to ditch Clerks 3 – the film that was to be his last – and instead make the film that will now be called ‘Tusk’. The script is already written, Tarantino favourite Michael Parks is in as the lead and shooting starts in mid-September. Smith has even offered Quentin a role himself.
“Today marks one month since I posted SModcast 259: The Walrus & the Carpenter,” Smith says. “In that month, it went from a podcast, to a script, to a pre-production reality. Team Tusk is now less than two months away from principal photography. And we’re waiting on word from Greg Nicotero to see if we can steal him from AMC’s The Walking Dead long enough to design and build the walrus costume.”
But what’s the reality of the story that ended up in some many national newspapers a few weeks ago? It will come as a surprise to absolutely nobody that it’s a fantastic, but delicately written, fantasy. But who is behind the hoax? We’ll keep you in the dark a little longer, but we have an interview with them in the next issue of SOURCE out on Wednesday. It’s not his only successful hoax. In fact we suspect he has work on this very site.
Edit: Meet Chris Parkinson, the man behind the advert.
Watch Kevin talk about it from five minutes in: