Kevin Smith’s fond of talking… talking about his movies, his pals, and especially the stuff that’s annoying him, and lately it’s the regurgitative world of movie sites that’s getting his goat. Through all of the teeth-grinding we’ve gotten some legitimate chunks of info about his distribution scheme (and I do mean “scheme”) for Red State, and casting news for his hockey flick, Hit Somebody, that you can find below.
His latest frustration is with the widely cycling “news” that he would be retiring after his upcoming project Hit Somebody was finished. Smith has made no attempt over the years to hide the fact that he feels there are only a limited number of films he cares to make, but the definitive nature of retiring after his next project made it a topic of discussion. /Film went for a quote from the man himself, and ended up getting a full response describing his frustration with the whole thing, an excerpt of which follows…
“I’ve always said (since CLERKS, even) that I’ve got about ten films in me (that info might even be on my Wikipedia page). And COP OUT notwithstanding (solely because I didn’t write it), HIT SOMEBODY is the 10th film I’ve got in me. At this moment in time, I’ve got no other flicks I wanna make. The musing about a possible return visit to the View Askewniverse with a third CLERKS is something I’ve been doing since CLERKS II, but I’ve always opened said musings with the disclaimer “If I ever wanna make a flick about being in my 40â€²s, I’ll think of Dante & Randal first.” There are no concrete plans for a CLERKS III.
The author of the Boston Phoenix piece did a really nice job of not hyping that throwaway factoid in the article and turning it into the exact piece of specious bullshit “news” the websites you mentioned are trying to create of it.”
Frankly, I think Smith should be flattered that the idea of his retirement is news! It means people actually care. He’s certainly mentioned the finiteness of his career before, but it’s inevitably going to become a thing when he sticks to that story so close to that final project being made. All of that said, I have no doubt Smith will make more movies after Hit Somebody.
Smith used the letter as an opportunity to pimp the various podcasts he’s involved in, all of which are linked in the original piece, but he also dropped a bit of Red State “news,” –that is, he wants to quite literally auction the film off if it’s accepted into Sundance.
“But if you can’t wait ’til then? If you’ve GOTTA have some Kevin Smith news to hold you over? Here’s something that’s not so much news as my stated intentions for RED STATE: if it gets into Sundance, my plan is to pick the RED STATE distributor right there – IN THE ROOM – auction style. Might even bring up a professional auctioneer to make it fun and unintelligible. And if you’re a multi-millionaire who can’t make it to the first screening of RED STATE, fear not: maybe we’ll set up an eBay page for the post-screening bid-calling as well.”
Pair that interesting (if silly-sounding) plan with a later revelation (in a podcast of course) that Nicholas Braun (Sky High) has been cast as the lead in Hit Somebody, and we assholes on the net have some legitimate Kevin Smith news to report!
I’ve always found it fascinating, though it’s not a train of thought I’ve ever carried to a grand thesis, that Kevin Smith seems to possess a very unique and interesting relationship with his target audience because of the truly fortuitous timing of his first film. It would seem Clerks found much of its success among that first legitimate generation of Star Wars geeks that were in their 20s and saw some or all of the OT in theaters and had their childhoods shaped by it. What’s funny is that these same audiences who drove his little indie film to such success in the early 90s, would soon latch on to the Aint It Cool world of internet movie fanboyism that developed largely because of… a new Star Wars film. My point is that Smith’s audience was largely made up of fans that would later use the same common ground with Smith’s characters to create an anonymous world of forums, fansites, and blogs- segments of which would become so hostile to the defensive director, creating a nasty back-and-forth that has flared periodically for years. Clerks II and Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back try painfully hard to delineate these generations, even though the large majority of the teeming internet fanboys are of the same generation as Dante, Randal, Jay, and Bob- they’re just the ones that landed jobs in front of computers instead of cash registers.
Of course, these days Smith has focused much of his ire on critics specifically, but as you read above, he still maintains a serious distaste for the (admittedly) circle-jerking world of online movie “scoops.” It’s a rare case of not biting, but being bitten by the hand that fed you.
(via Dark Horizons)