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Brent Butt goes old-school gumshoe in homage to detective movies

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CALGARY -- Corner Gas creator Brent Butt says his upcoming movie No Clue is a tribute to one of his favourite genres.

"It's kind of old-timey. I mean it's a contemporary film, but it's a homage to detective movies which I love, and I'm the guy trying to solve the case," Butt said in a recent interview.

The film wrapped its Vancouver shoot last November. Post production is complete and it will likely be released next year.

Butt plays Leo, a gumshoe attempting to help a femme fatale played by Amy Smart (The Butterfly Effect, Starsky & Hutch and the TV series Shameless) find her missing brother.

The funnyman -- who also created the TV series Hiccups -- says the film is not simply a straight comedy.

"It is humorous, but my goal when I started writing this was I didn't want to make a zany, wacky detective movie -- like a bumbling guy where the guy climbs up a ladder and it starts to go backwards," he said.

"I wanted to write a movie that's funny, but if it weren't funny it would work anyway. It really holds water. It's really gritty, dark and then it's just funny because the main character is in over his head," Butt said.

The film won't be in black and white and Butt said he will not be wearing a trench coat or fedora.

"I am wearing a tie at times and I'm wearing a hat at times."

The film also stars David Koechner as Leo's "not too bright" sidekick Ernie. Koechner is best known for playing Champ Kind in the Anchorman films and Todd Packer on NBC's The Office.

Canadian actor Dan Payne (John in the TV series Alice, I Think) will take on the role of the "big, nasty heavy".

"Honestly, there isn't a weak link in the bunch," said Butt. "Although they say if you can't see the patsy, you're probably the patsy. So there's always the possibility the weak link is me and I can live with that," he said.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 16, 2013 D6

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