Between his many podcasts and directing episodes of The CW series like The Flash and Supergirl, it’s a wonder Kevin Smith even has time to devote to films at all.
Yet, he’s finding time to revisit at least one franchise that made him successful not just behind the camera but in front as well – Jay and Silent Bob.
In recent years, Smith has veered into increasingly off-the-wall territory with Red State, Tusk and last year’s Yoga Hosers. However, throughout it all, Smith has maintained an interest in returning to the interconnected series of films – known as the “View Askewniverse” because of Smith’s View Askew Productions – which served as the foundation of his entire career.
Although films like Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy and Dogma feature different stories and protagonists, crass, mischievous drug dealers Jay and Silent Bob – portrayed by Jason Mewes and Smith himself – emerged as the connective tissue, bumbling from one adventure to the next as Smith’s own take on Hamlet‘s supporting players Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
Taking to his Instagram account, the director has now offered news that longtime fans can once again expect more from his signature characters in a wholly unexpected way.
This is not a drill! This is an actual image from my laptop! Yes, Kids – @jayandsilentbob are coming back! Here’s the story: Sadly, Clerks III can’t happen (one of our four leads opted out of the flick). So I worked on a #Mallrats movie instead… which also didn’t happen because it turned into a #Mallrats series. I’ve pitched said sequel series to 6 different networks only to find no takers thus far. Mind you, I’m not complaining: nobody gets to make EVERYTHING they wanna make in this business (do they?). And I’ve been lucky to make anything at all, there’s so much competition out there, so many much cooler ideas from fresh folks. And besides: I had #comicbookmen and then @tuskthemovie and @yogahosers (which all came together so crazy quickly), and the podcasts and #fatmanonbatman. With all of that, how could I bitch about no Clerks III or Mallrats 2? Then when I started directing @thecw shows, it was such a slice of Heaven on Earth, I happily put my Askewniverse sequels to the side. Since I sold #Clerks and #Mallrats years ago, they’re owned by others, which limits my moves with my own material. I don’t mind: back in the day, all I ever wanted to do was sell my stuff so I could be in the movie biz in the first place. So I don’t own Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy or #Dogma… But I DO own #jayandsilentbob. So while I love playing with someone else’s new toys on @cwtheflash and @Supergirl, I’m getting eager to play with my old toys again in the inter-connected View Askewniverse I spent the first half of my career creating. And so all last month, I had the time of my life laughing while writing “Jay and Silent Bob Reboot” – a fun flick in which the Jersey boys have to go back to Hollywood to stop a brand new reboot of the old “Bluntman & Chronic Movie” they hated so much. It’s a tongue-in-cheek, silly-ass satire that pokes fun at the movie business’s recent re-do obsession, featuring an all-star cast of cameos and familiar faces! And I already met with the good folks at Miramax and they’re into it, so I’m hoping we’ll be shooting in the summer! Never give up, kids. You CAN do anything you want in life, so long as you’re patient and malleable. #KevinSmith
While fans may relish the chance to see Smith and Mewes reprise their fan-favorite roles, the sudden announcement of Jay and Silent Bob Reboot is a bittersweet one, considering it is accompanied by a somber update for Clerks III and the Mallrats television series. Smith’s willingness to open up to his fans about his ongoing slate of projects certainly endears him to the masses, but more often than not lately, initial excitement has ended in disappointment, as was the case with Smith’s recent efforts to make a television series based on the 1984 cult fantasy film Buckaroo Banzai.
In any case, Jay and Silent Bob likely still have a ton of comedic juice in them, as they haven’t appeared in a major release since Clerks II in 2006. Their first starring vehicle, 2001’s Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, grossed $30 million against a $22 million production budget, and has since developed into a favorite among Smith’s devoted fanbase.
It’s anyone’s guess exactly how Jay and Silent Bob will be different when we next see them, but at least we can count on Smith to keep us updated on the film’s progress in the meantime … and in real time.
Robert Yaniz Jr.
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