Over the past decade or so, Kevin Smith has had quite the interesting turn in his career. He had his start in the indie world back in the early 1990s with the foul-mouthed micro-budget movie Clerks. The movie went on to get purchased by Miramax, and thus began a career with more twists and turns than an M. Night Shyamalan film. As he made more films, they generally increased in budget bit by bit, and before long, Smith went the traditional Hollywood route with the 2004 movie Jersey Girl, which was an experience that left him a bit unhappy. With that negative experience behind him, he opted to head back to the View Askewniverse with Clerks II.
Smith went on to do many other films and projects, and for a while, it seemed like those characters were done. A couple years back, however, Smith floated the idea that he was working on Clerks III, a successor to the beloved first two films. Nothing really came out of that, and before long, Smith was hard at work on a Mallrats sequel. That sequel turned into a TV show and then seemingly disappeared once he announced he’d be making Jay and Silent Bob Reboot. So what’s the deal? Are Mallrats 2 and Clerks III on the back burner, or are they done for?
Sorry fans, but it looks like this ain’t gonna happen. While on his YouTube show Fat Man on Batman, Smith regaled listeners with his long journey of both Clerks III and Mallrats 2.
He began with Clerks III, discussing how they were all but ready to go forth with production. They’d even started to look at crew to hire, and would have been the next production in Philadelphia, where many crew members were finishing up Creed.
“You need four people to make a Clerks movie…For a while, one of the clerks did not want to be involved. I wrote the script, he dug the script, he was just like, ‘yeah, don’t wanna do it.’ It took me years to get him to a place where, ‘oh, maybe I’ll do this.’ And then it looked like we were moving forward. We had loot for it. $8 million. That was the budget.
“Two months before shooting, it fell apart. One of the four main characters did not want to be involved. It quickly spiraled out of control in a big, bad way, and wound up not happening — and probably could never happen after the stream of events…it hit a wall, and sometimes that’s a wall you can’t get over.”
Unfortunately, this led to the Clerks III not getting made, and based on that story, it doesn’t sound like it’ll ever be in the cards, for better or worse. From there on, Smith went on to do Yoga Hosers, putting Clerks III on the back burner, so to speak, though in reality, he already knew the project was dead, and just didn’t want to say it aloud.
He then shifted focus to Mallrats 2. For a while, it seemed like a possibility, and he figured that he could buy the rights from Universal — and was even advised that it was possible. However, unbeknownst to Smith (who went on to write a script for the film), Universal was not a company that sold their rights. In fact, they have never released a title in their entire history. The only way to make it happen would be if Universal agreed to fund the whole thing.
Smith went on to have meetings with the various subsidiary studios of Universal, but to no avail. There did, however, seem to be some interest in Smith turning the movie into a series, but despite various other meetings with networks, there were no bites.
“It was one of those things where, ‘Oh my god, I can usually make reality happen, but I don’t own this reality, so I have to play to the game.’ And to be fair, it had its shot in a different marketplace — TV. And still, you know, people were just like, ‘no.’ And I got in every room, it’s not like people were just like, ‘we don’t wanna hear it.’”
In short, Clerks III was shot down due to a cast member not being on board, and Mallrats 2 seems to have run through all its options, leaving them at a dead end. While we can never truly say never, for the time being, the prospect of these films getting made is pretty unlikely. And with Smith now hard at work at Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, he may very well lose interest in all those other projects altogether.
Those who are downtrodden about all may find comfort in the fact that Smith is actually planning on releasing the scripts to the film and selling them. Every cloud has a silver lining.
What do you think? Are you sad you won’t get to see some of your favorite characters return, or are you relieved that Kevin Smith won’t have to revisit those specific wells? Let us know your thoughts down below!
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SOURCE: Fat Man on Batman, Smodcast