UPDATED: Animated Kevin Smith projects and first look at 'Hit Somebody'
Posted Monday, March 14, 2011 at 4:28 PM Central
Last updated Tuesday, May 31, 2011 at 10:48 AM Central
by John Couture
On Friday night, I had the pleasure of returning to my alma mater (Butler University in Indianapolis) and introducing filmmaker Kevin Smith before his Red State, U.S.A. tour stop. It was amazing, surreal and unforgettable, but the real star of the evening was the film itself as it continues to wow audiences from coast-to-coast.
As you know, I was fortunate to have seen the original Sundance cut of the film back in January and I can honestly say that the film plays even better with the cuts that Kevin made shortly thereafter. In particular, the ending, while remaining exactly the same, is so much more compelling in the latest version. I don't want to go into too much detail here as I am trying to maintain a spoiler-free discussion until Red Sate has its official theatrical release in October, but let's just say that there's a perfect out for the movie and it puts a nice bow on the whole thing.
If you are on the fence about attending the remaining dates on the Red State, U.S.A. tour, I can't recommend enough how amazing an event it is. While the movie shines better than ever, Kevin comes out after the screening and fields your questions about the movie, life in general or whatever you want to talk about.
There's a reason that Kevin has released three (and counting) Evening with DVDs. As his SModcast network proves, Kevin is first and foremost an entertainer and he is striving to make each tour stop a unique and personal experience. You never know what's going to happen, but you do know that you don't want to miss it.
Such was the case on Friday night when Kevin dropped some gems about possible upcoming projects. Kevin has mentioned previously that with the upcoming Hit Somebody, he is retiring from writing and directing. You would think that this news would mean that his personal output would likewise drop, but so far it has been anything but.
He went into a bit more detail about the rumored resurrection of the Animated Clerks series that he revealed in this Examiner interview. He reiterated that Bob Weinstein had asked him about the continuation of the Clerks story and Kevin suggested they look into bringing back the Animated Clerks property.
While Kevin talked about how the cost of the series would be substantially less now given advances in technology, it wasn't immediately clear if the new project in question would be a continuation of the series on TV (making a Family Guy-esque return) or a big screen adaptation. What Kevin did reveal though was that original executive producer Dave Mandel has expressed interest in the reboot.
You might remember Mandel as a writer on the Seinfeld series or in his current role as executive producer of Curb Your Enthusiasm, but I'll forever remember him from the "Thanks for Watching" vanity cards that were created for the Animated Clerks series. You can check it out below in case it has been so long that you have forgotten.
The other news item that I hadn't seen mentioned anywhere was the reveal that Jason Mewes was producing (yes, you read that right) an animated Bluntman & Chronic feature film that would be released online in serial form. As I'm sure you remember, Bluntman & Chronic were comic book alter egos of Jay and Silent Bob that make their first appearance in Chasing Amy.
In fact, the whole plot of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back revolves around Jay and Silent Bob making their way to Hollywood to stop production of a Bluntman & Chronic movie. I guess you can say that life is imitating art yet again. I'm really excited to see what Jason Mewes will do with the project. He's come a long way personally and professionally and this would be a home run and a way to keep the View Askewniverse alive.
As to Kevin's direct involvement in either project? He stuck by his guns that he's going to remain retired after Hit Somebody, but he also acknowledged that he might contribute a "joke or two" from time to time.
Whatever the future holds for Kevin, I think it's safe to say that he won't be sitting on the sidelines twiddling his thumbs. I have followed his career for many years and I really can't think of a period in his life that is more active and vibrant.
And when Red Sate proves to be a successful model of distribution, I'm sure he will move forward with his plans to use it for other people's projects. Just as Kevin beamed on stage with his joy at seeing Jason Mewes mature into new territory as a producer, we can sit back and watch Kevin's own evolution from filmmaker to whatever he sets his sights on.
For now, if you check out Red Sate, I promise an evening of entertainment that you won't soon forget. You might also get a nugget of new information too. Of course, if you do, let us know so we can document it properly.
Live comic version of Six Million Dollar Man coming
Just when you thought you could breathe and go one day without Kevin Smith news, the man himself revealed on his twitter feed that someone is turning his dead The Six Million Dollar Man script into an animated live comic.
By my count, that's three animated projects in the pipeline for Kevin Smith. He wrote the script for The Six Million Dollar Man in 1996 and the project never seemed to gain any steam and was finally shelved altogether. Kevin details the project in An Evening with Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder.
Just like his much ballyhooed Superman script, you can find his The Six Million Dollar Man script online with a simple Google search. If you're like us, you like when other people do the work for you. In that case, simply click here to read Kevin's The Six Million Dollar Man script.
Kevin hasn't revealed who is behind the adaptation, but he did hint that it was an established company who has done these live comic adaptations before.
Early First Look at Hit Somebody
We all know that Kevin is doing things a different way with Red Sate and he's already looking to blaze a new trail with Hit Somebody. Yesterday, when someone inquired on Twitter whether John Goodman would have any good monologs in Hit Somebody, Kevin responded by offering to share one of John Goodman's scenes on his blog.
This isn't a case of sharing a scene from a shooting draft of the script, Hit Somebody is still very much in the writing process. Obviously, good writers share scenes with friends and confidants to bolster the final product, but this is the first time I've heard of a filmmaker of Smith's stature sharing such a pivotal scene so early to so many people.
As someone who grew up with a French Canadian father that had me on skates at age 3, I found the scene almost perfect. A scene written by a guy who has never laced up the skates and played ice hockey himself. There was even a snippet (that I'll include below) that was so spot on, that I immediately sent it to my beer league hockey team.
BLUE JAY (CONT’D) You know what a heart attack is?
Buddy shrugs “kinda”.
BLUE JAY (CONT’D) When you’re an adult, life’s not very fun anymore, kid. They expect productivity. And the pressure that comes with expectation of any kind - the stress and the anger and the jealousy… Over a lifetime? (mimes a heart attack; then) But that doesn’t happen to hockey players. Know why?
Buddy shakes his head. Blue Jay points to the barn.
BLUE JAY (CONT’D) Hockey players are allowed to beat people up.
Buddy’s taken back by this. Blue Jay nods.
BLUE JAY (CONT’D) They take out their troubles on the ice. They take it out on the puck, or some sumbitch ain’t got his head up. For two minutes, all that stuff us mere mortals gotta deal with as thinking organisms on a cold rock in space that doesn’t care whether we hang on or spin off into the Milky Way? The stuff most people call “real life”? For two minutes , a hockey player gets to skate it all away. You can’t drop gloves on life, kid - but in The Game? They’ll cheer you if you do. Because they all know what a struggle… what a fight life can be. And when they see you take a swing - with your stick or a good right hook - they feel like you’re taking a swing for them. And lots of people will tell you that ain’t right. But brother? (whispers) There ain’t nothin’ righter.