Stan Lee gets more than a bit part, for a change, in this great Audi tie-in to The Avengers, as he plays the part of the world's greatest cameo actor. It's a piece of pitch-perfect fan service tailor made for Marvel junkies who delight in wondering which cameo role Lee will play in every Marvel film. After all, as the Audi spot says, "When it comes to small roles, Stan Lee is the biggest."
Hollywood movies aren't usually based on prank ads, but Kevin Smith's latest proudly is. The comedy-horror hybrid, titled Tusk, is about a crazy person (played by Michael Parks) who wants to surgically modify a sane person (played by Justin Long) into a walrus. The inspiration for the bizarre story came from a similarly quirky classified ad from Britain that offered free housing to anyone willing to act like a walrus, in costume, for two hours a day. "Whilst in the walrus costume you must be a walrus," read the ad, "there must be no speaking in a human voice, and any communication must entail making utterances in the voice of a walrus—I believe there aer (sic) recordings available on the web—to me, the voice is the most natural thing I have ever heard. Other duties will involve catching and eating the fish and crabs that I will occasionally throw to you whilst you are being the walrus." Smith found the joke ad online and discussed it on his podcast, reports Variety, then decided to turn it into a movie after receiving popular support for the idea on social media. The ad's author, Chris Parkinson of Brighton, got an associate producer credit for the movie, visited the set in North Carolina and attended the premiere in Los Angeles. He is apparently a regular writer of joke ads, though most don't yield quite as much success—in addition to the movie, he says this one drew 400 responses. That's not really that surprising, though—paying rent by pretending to be a walrus actually seems like a pretty good deal. Full text of the original walrus ad below.
Having established itself as the home of hit drama series like Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead, AMC is looking to crash its way into the comedy business.
Clerks auteur Kevin Smith is planning a project that moviegoers can really sink their teeth into. The proposed film is called Tusk, and it's based on an elaborate (and thankfully bogus) roommate-wanted ad placed in June by prankster Chris Parkinson from Brighton, England. Parkinson wrote that he was pining away for his deceased walrus pal, Gregory, offering free rent to anyone willing to wear a walrus costume and make walrus noises for a couple of hours each day. (What, no complimentary bucket of chum for breakfast?) Smith explains his creative vision in a Hollywood Reporter blog post: "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?'" It's a question we've all pondered at one time or another, that's for sure.
Gillette has a super-geeky Man of Steel tie-in and YouTube takeover going on right now, where they ask an impressive list of celebrities, "How does Superman shave?" Bill Nye, the science guy, offers a theory based in materials science. Super-geek movie director Kevin Smith suggests he uses a piece of the spaceship he came to Earth in (while detailing and dismissing some super other amusing theories, including the one from the comics that he uses his heat-vision reflected in a mirror to burn each hair off). The Big Bang Theory's Mayim Bialik (whom you may know as Blossom, and who also has a real Ph.D in neuroscience) puts forth that Superman has super-Nair. Finally, the MythBusters guys give five or six theories before landing on the Large Hadron Collider. Surprisingly, but not in a bad way, no one said with a Gillette razor. It's a smart idea and a great tie-in. Ad agency Concept One came up with the notion for Gillette. If you want to hash over your own theory, tweet at #HowDoesHeShave. Or just search it to geek out on the crazy pseudo-science theories. Asking comic-book nerds to argue an absurd bit of superhero minutiae on social media? Their evil plan just might work! More spots below.
Kevin Smith has enough indie director cred for a whole film festival—he funded his first movie, Clerks, by maxing out his credit cards. So it makes sense that when the time came to get traditional filmmakers on board with Web video companies who were looking to compete with linear television, Smith would be first in line.