The Ninjabot

Kevin Smith – Don’t Call It A Comeback…

Posted on January 4, 2014 at 10:30 am by Frank Wingrove

If you’re a devout follower of film director/podcast guru, Kevin Smith, then you know how much of an emotional roller coaster his film career has been for his fans since his last project, Red StateBack in early 2011, Smith, while promoting Red State, talked about his then-next feature project, the hockey comedy Hit Somebody based on a Warren Zevon song, and how it was going to be his last film and that he would retire from filmmaking after that.  While some rejoiced at the idea, his fans wept, but trudged forward with their writer-director.  Then, on a  2012 episode of his hit podcast with longtime partner (hetero lifemate) Jason Mewes, Jay and Silent Bob Get Old, Smith announces that Hit Somebody will no longer be a film but rather a mini-series on network television, and that now his last film will be the third installment in his Clerks franchise, Clerks III.  This time, while some wept, his fans rejoiced.

However, a few months later on a special at-home edition of his other hit podcast, Hollywood Babble-On, Smith sat down with friends and colleagues, Scott Mosier and Ralph Garman, to discuss the obstacles Clerks III would have to face to be made, such as how to fund the project and problems with his old benefactors, Bob and Harvey Weinstein.  The future of Clerks seemed hazy at best and only got hazier when Smith announced on his own Facebook page that while Clerks would still be his final film, it would not be his next.  Since the next step in the process of getting his farewell film made was out of his hands, Smith decided to keep busy and write another small-budgeted project (a la Red State) called Tusk based on a story him and Scott Mosier talked about on an episode of their podcast, SModcast.  With a simple story about a deranged man that turns another man into a human walrus, a small budget, and an even smaller cast, Smith was able to write, finance, and shoot Tusk in about six months in 2013.

Now, nearly three years since his critics-described “implosion” at the Sundance Film Festival in 2011, what does Kevin Smith have planned for 2014?

According to his Facebook page, Smith plans on doing everything but retire.  The indie director will have Tusk ready to release at some point in the year, but on top of that he plans to start shooting Clerks III in May.  Also, since completing Tusk, Smith has begun work on another project based on an episode of SModcast about a Godzilla-sized Rapturing Jesus Christ versus the people of Earth who don’t want to die, and while it originally started out as a film it apparently may become a musical for the stage called, Helena Handbag.  Plus, all of this work on all these different projects has led Smith to one conclusion – he doesn’t want to retire.  Not completely anyway.  Smith said on Facebook:

On the most recent episode of SModcast, I talked about my new mantra in regards to filmmaking: from now until I drop dead, I’m only ever gonna make a flick that only I would/could ever make. JERSEY GIRL, ZACK & MIRI, COP OUT – while I love them all, these are movies anybody could make. Like ’em or hate ’em, nobody else but me could’ve (or would’ve) ever made CLERKS. Or CHASING AMY. Or DOGMA. Or RED STATE. Or CLERKS II. Or MALLRATS. Or JAY & SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK. I let my view askew get standardized for awhile there – so much so that I was happy to walk away from it all for three years and do other shit. But after conceiving and shooting TUSK in less than 6 months (with the help of a shit ton of amazing professionals and a budget smaller than that of RED STATE), I realized that film isn’t in my blood… MY films are in my blood.

So it seems that after almost twenty years in the movie business, Kevin Smith has finally realized the kind of director he wants to be – Kevin Smith.  And that is said with no hint of sarcasm.  After being his biggest critic and aggressively humble his entire career, Smith appears to have discerned not only his place in Indie Film, but his place as an icon.  This is both awesome and refreshing to witness.  Hats off to you, Mr. Smith, and we look forward to you having a great 2014 and beyond.

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