The coronavirus is gradually shutting down all movie and TV production, delaying many of the big releases we’ve been looking forward to for months. We need to take encouragement where we can find it, then, and one source is Kevin Smith’s announcement that he’s using the time in isolation to work on scripts for Clerks 3 and Mallrats 2.
Smith made the announcement himself via his Facebook page when discussing how he’ll be spending his time while everything has been closed – “hiking and writing” – remaining serious about maintaining his health while continuing his filmmaking work.
Here’s what he wrote:
Pulled on my @masters hoodie and climbed Snake Mountain yesterday. With everything shut down, there’s no excuse for me to not hike Runyon Canyon every day (so long as I practice social distancing). And now that everything has been canceled for a month or two, I will have time to finish the “Twilight of the Mallrats” and “Clerks 3” scripts. Hiking and writing: that’s my pandemic plan. Stay safe, my friends
Smith has been eager to make Clerks 3 after revisiting the characters of his debut movie in Clerks 2 and falling in love with them all over again. Actually making the film proved less straightforward though as Jeff Anderson, who played the co-lead role of Randal, wasn’t interested in reprising the part. As the dynamic between Randal and Dante is a large part of what makes the Clerks movies such a delight, to alter that setup purely so the film could be made would have been a misstep, and Smith wisely put the project on the backburner.
His attempts to likewise get a sequel for Mallrats off the ground similarly faltered after having been begun with the best of intentions. Pre-production was beset by delays that led to recasting, with the film then morphing into a 10-episode limited TV series that was not picked up by any of the half-dozen networks it was pitched to, which included Netflix, Hulu and Showtime.
Things are looking up a bit now, though. Smith has managed to convince Anderson to come on board for Clerks 3 and the success of Jay and Silent Bob Reboot has renewed Smith’s interest in revisiting Mallrats 2, now titled Twilight of the Mallrats. The indefinite hiatus on the production of anything creative might be frustrating and more than a little concerning, but at least Smith has given us something to look forward to once we make it out on the other side.