Writer/director Kevin Smith has become a wonderful beacon for the geek community. His roots stem from a passion of pop-culture that rivals nearly anyone on the planet, as evidenced from Death Star debates in Clerks, to his musings on geekdom developments via his podcast, Fat Man on Batman (soon to be Fat Man Beyond) where he waxes poetic with writer Marc Bernardin. When the two speak, the geek community listens, and when they tease projects like Smith’s directorial involvement with the CW’s The Flash, or Supergirl, or Bernardin’s writing prowess being leveraged for shows like Castle Rock and the forthcoming Treadstone (based on The Bourne Identity universe), we take notice. And much like the two hosts of Fat Man Beyond discussing Rey’s parentage, it’s fun to speculate on what these individuals might be cooking up next.
All of this brings us Smith’s cryptic hints about a super big project he’s working on. Smith claims enthusiastically that he would love to tell the world his secret, but he can’t—and we should believe him on this, the man loves to engage with open dialogue about such things—and that leaves us wondering: what is one of the world’s most self-abashed lovers of geek culture developing, especially since he’s dropped hints that’s it an existing intellectual property set in the largest world he’s ever played in? Let’s break down some possibilities based on what we know.
First off, it’s not a movie. While people quickly claimed that it would be a film set in either the DCEU, MCU, or Star Wars universe, Smith has very clearly debunked this, even saying recently:
“I know I’m being vague, I wish I could f*cking tell you and the moment I can tell you, man, I’m going to be like ‘blaaaaa!’ and you’re going to be like ‘what the f*ck!’ but it’s not a movie. I’ve had a lot of people be like ‘oh, it’s a f*cking Marvel movie!’ Nobody would give me a movie. Nobody would give me a movie whatsoever. I’m struggling to make Jay And Silent Bob Reboot. This is a series thing, but it’s a f*cking dynamite series in a real weird, wonderful place. So, more as I know more.”
Other things we can take off are the table are (sadly) the Mallrats series, and other original Smith concepts such as his hockey comedy Hit Somebody and Buckaroo Banzai. On that last one, I think Smith’s Buckaroo Banzai series will indeed come to fruition and is moving forward, but he’s been fairly transparent about its development, so I’m guessing that’s a different project. We also know that this is in the nascent stages of development and that Smith would be the showrunner, so that excludes the newly announced Star Wars live-action show that takes place between Return Of The Jedi and The Force Awakens, Batwoman on the CW, and Watchmen on HBO.
So where does this leave us? Well, Smith ruled out geeky movies in huge universes, but he didn’t rule them out on the small screen. It’s unlikely that he’s overseeing a new Star Wars show because after the less-than-stellar returns Disney saw with Solo, they are going to throttle new content. We’re already getting a Clone Wars revival and the previously mentioned show which has Jon Favreau directing the pilot. Adding in a third series seems like overkill, even if Smith would likely be adept at handling it.
Let’s go now to Marvel. Disney will be pulling out of Netflix programming soon, will need to populate its own standalone streamlining service. Sure, it has one of the world’s most diverse libraries, but they will also need new content. They aren’t dummies—we aren’t going to ever see season 6 of Iron Fist or Luke Cage, so they’ll need to introduce new heroes that are more apt for the small screen. I like Smith’s quote of the show being a “dynamite series in a real weird, wonderful place,” which leads to me to two guesses.
The first is Moon Knight. A small but vocal contingency have clamored for Marvel’s version of Batman to make an appearance and to say the show could be weird and leverage Smith’s brand of humor would be an understatement. Moon Knight is really ex-merc Marc Spector, but also billionaire Steven Grant, and taxicab driver Jack Crowley. The hero, who dispenses vigilante justice at night with a barrage of fancy gadgets, suffers from multiple personality order. This is the aftershock of a near-death experience he supposedly had at the hands of an Egyptian god who he claims still plagues his mind. If you can imagine the action of Arrow crossed with the trippy elements of Legion crossed with the otherworldly humor of Doctor Strange, you’re probably not that far off. It’s something Smith could have a lot of fun with, and it could serve as an extension of the pre-established Defenders universe in the existing Netflix shows.
I’ll keep the second Marvel-based guess brief: Namor the Sub-Mariner. Marvel’s Aquaman is also the king of Atlantis, a bit of a badass, and oscillates between hero and villain as a complex self-serving character. The underwater setting would allow Smith to have a pretty large canvas to paint on with few preconceived notions of what shape the portrayal would take. This gets a special mention because of a conversation Smith had with executive Joe Quesada expressing his enthusiasm when he found out Marvel had retained the rights to the character.
That leaves DC. Much like Disney/Marvel, the other giant in the room is also launching its own streaming service and will also need a ton of content to keep it afloat, but it will begin with Titans and Doom Patrol. Smith clearly has relationship with the studio given that he hosted the launch of DC Universe and has directed many episodes within the Arrowverse on the CW. For all these reasons, it seems logical to ask Smith to oversee a new developing show, it’s just a question of which property. Two weeks ago, I would have guessed Swamp Thing, but that is going to James Wan (Aquaman). We do know that WB doesn’t love dual portrayals of characters around, and there is a Justice League member we’ve yet to see rebooted: Green Lantern. While rumors of Green Lantern Corps have run rampant, it might be the case that the studio has given up on a film in favor of a show that could truly have an expansive universe. Another option would be Plastic Man, a property that is big on laughs and has been in the on-deck circle time and again but has yet be really seen in modern live-action. Either of these options would lend themselves well to humor and creativity.
Finally, a dark-horse candidate: Saga. For those unaware, Saga, created by Brian K. Vaughn, is space-opera fantasy adventure, much in the vein of Star Wars. It has weird strange planets, thrilling action, love and humor. While Vaughn was fairly adamant that he didn’t want to adapt the material into live-action, a lot has changed since he expressed this sentiment in 2013. Smith’s love of science-fiction makes him a prime candidate to take on such an audacious task. It would be certainly bigger than anything he’s previously handled, but I think the geek community would have faith in him. Put this one at a low probability but with high enjoyment value.
There you have it! What do you think Kevin Smith is working on?
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SOURCE: Fatman on Batman