When the rumor of an intentionally leaked decoy script for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice hit the web, I shrugged. It sounded relatively plausible. A bit far-fetched, perhaps, but not out of the realm of the ordinary. When the rumor hit that Kevin Smith was the one who authored it, I smelled bullshit.
Yesterday, Smith wrote a blog post denying any involvement with the project. Here’s the CliffsNotes version:
“C’mon, kids… No major studio would let a guy like me near their franchises – even if it was for a dummy script meant solely to fool the news sites.
…anything I’ve said about (Batman v. Superman) was based on an image Zack showed me while hosting a Man of Steel online event at Yahoo many months back. The little I know of the flick beyond that I learned from some cats involved.”
One of the reasons I smelled bullshit is because I’m a Kevin Smith fan. I have a deep love of Clerks, and I listen to a few of his podcasts, namely SModcast and Edumacation. In this respect, I’m like the albino alligator of film bloggers: odd and rare. This mutation puts me at risk. I also live in an aquarium at a science museum, but that’s beside the point. The point is that the reaction to this Batman v. Superman rumor (and the reaction to the Weinsteins passing on Clerks 3) tells me that the film blogging community at large will jump at any chance to talk shit about Kevin Smith.
He’s got a juvenile sense of humor. He wears a gaudy hockey jersey every day. He’s obsessed with Canada. He’s permanently stoned. He’s not the most knowledgable guy, but he readily (and frequently) admits this on his podcast Edumacation, which was founded on the fact that Smith has hardly any knowledge of science. He’s made a handful of films with less than sterling reputations. It’s easy to see how we’ve repurposed him from nerd icon to punching bag.
But after threatening to hang up his filmmaking hat, Smith is making a bunch of weird little movies now, and that’s… an improvement. Red State didn’t bear many of his trademarks (at least not in abundance), and he’s taken it upon himself to develop a visual style that doesn’t look flat or cartoonish. His next picture, Tusk, is a body horror flick about a guy (Justin Long) who is operated on by a deranged Michael Parks in an attempt to turn him into a walrus. Then, he’s making a Krampus-themed anthology film later this year called Anti-Claus. Oh, and then he’s making a comedy starring two peripheral Canadians from Tusk. He’s currently writing another Canadian comedy, Moose Jaws. And then there’s the sitcom pilot…
His newfound prolificacy is almost disturbing, and not all of these projects have a chance at being good. But here’s what I like about them: a few of these upcoming movies sound like things that only Kevin Smith* could make. They’re not the ultra bland beige of Zack and Miri or Cop Out. Anyone could have made those movies. I don’t think anyone SHOULD have made those movies. But I think these new projects deserve a chance. Your suspicion is not unwarranted, but I don’t think we should gnash our teeth just because the guy is making headlines again.
* Yes, I’m aware that there’s another Krampus-based horror comedy in the works from Michael Dougherty.