Smith has been trying to get Red State for the past three years, but it’s not difficult to see why he had difficulty selling it when he described it as, “so bleak that it makes The Dark Knight look like Strawberry Shortcake.” In an interview from 2007, Smith said it’s based on Westboro Baptist Church leader Fred Phelps. If you’re unfamiliar with them, click on their Wikipedia page and know that they’re some of the worst people to ever slither the planet.
Hit the jump to read what Smith had to say about the film back in ’07, but know that it’s highly-possible that the script now could be wildly different from what he had back then. In an odd twist, it may even be more relevant now with the rise of the racist and homophobic tea party movement.
“The movie’s called ‘Red State’ and it’s very much about that subject matter, that point of view and that position taken to the absolute extreme. It’s certainly not Phelps himself but it’s very much inspired by a Phelps figure,” revealed Smith. “And to me, too, the notion of using a Phelps-like character as a villain, as horrifying and scary as that guy can be, there’s even something more insidious than him that lurks out there in as much as a public or a government that allows it and that’s the other thing that I’m trying to examine in a big, big way. It’s weird because for a few months I’ve been saying ‘horror movie’ and technically it is, but it’s also not a very traditional horror movie in the sense that people have been asking me, ‘Is it a slasher movie? Is it like the Japanese horror flicks?’ It’d be much easier to just show it to them when I’m done and be like, ‘This is what I meant.’ At which point I’m sure there’ll be people saying, ‘This ain’t a horror movie!’ But to me, it is.”
Of course, it’s difficult to know whether Smith has the chops to pull this one off after the catastrophuck of Cop Out (a film I imagine he will one day disown).