Kevin Smith’s career has been on a downward slope since, if you’re feeling generous, 2001’s Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (if you’re not, 1999’s Dogma), but he’ll always have his diehard fans because of his large personality, larger hockey jerseys, and first four films. Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma — that’s a strong opening stretch, and it’s a little surprising Smith has only revisited one of them. That would be Clerks, which spawned one sequel (with another possibly coming) and an underrated animated television show.
There’s been talk of a follow-up to Mallrats — possibly called Mallbrats — for over a year now, but nothing official…until now. Smith confirmed on this morning’s Preston & Steve show on 93.3 WMMR that he’s doing a Mallrats series. Never before has “let’s go to the mall” sounded like such a threat.
“I called my agency and I said, ‘Hey man, can I just make a Mallrats sequel? Universal owns it, but do I really need to make this with Universal? Can’t I just write a script and buy the title from them?’
And the agent told me, ‘Yeah, absolutely, they’ll let it go.’
And I said, ‘Are you positive? Because I don’t want to start this if that’s not the case.’ He says, ‘Oh yeah, there are three ways you can make this movie: You finance it yourself; you finance it with the studio, co-financed; or they finance it, but, you know, it’ll probably be, since it’s an old movie and it’s a small title, it’ll probably be you financing it yourself.’ (Via)
Mallrats has a massive cult following and an impressive cast, including Jason Lee, Shannen Doherty, Michael Rooker, and pre-famous Ben Affleck, but it wasn’t a box office hit — it only made $2 million on a $6 million budget. No wonder Universal would be hesitant to finance a film that originally lost money. Anyway, let’s fast forward to the happy ending of Smith’s story.
“So, while I’m in that world and space [of making Buckaroo Banzai], a couple months ago, we started reconfiguring the idea of doing Mallrats not as a film but as a series, and Universal and I are just about to close our deal to do Mallrats the series. Then we take it out into the world and find a home for it. So, instead of doing a Mallrats movie, I’m going to do 10 episodes of a Mallrats series.” (Via)
The series will even be shot in the same mall as the original, in Exton, Pennsylvania. The Orange Julius where the cast used to hang out still smells like commerce and sweaty jorts.
(Via Consequence of Sound)