Posted on Thursday, September 8th, 2016 by Peter Sciretta
If you had asked me ten years ago if Kevin Smith would ever have a chance to make a Mallrats sequel, I would have bet against it. And that’s coming from someone who loved the movie and still has a special spot for Smith’s “sophomore bellyflop.” But Smith has not only written Mallrats 2, but it’s also now five hours long and takes the form of a television series (which will probably end up on a cable or streaming network due to graphic language). What will the 10-episode half-hour comedy series be about? Learn details about the Mallrats 2 plot and find out why it became a television series rather than a movie, after the jump.
Kevin Smith revealed the details to Creative Screenwriting magazine while promoting his latest film Yoga Hosers. Smith announced that Mallrats 2 will be “a real sweet, family story.”
It’s a multi-generational tale. It’s my chance to do John Hughes and Degrassi Junior High, because much like the Degrassi formula we know our legacy cast – we know Brody and Rene and T.S. and Jay and Silent Bob – and then we meet their kids. So we meet Brody and Rene’s daughter Banner Bruce, and the story takes place in his world and her world. Nobody goes to the fucking mall anymore, so the kids are baffled by it, and Brody still believes in it in a big, bad way. The thing that I’m happiest about is that when I was doing it as a movie – I always saw the two inspirations for Mallrats as John Landis and John Hughes – and the Mallrats 2 script was very John Landis. Very antic, with guns everywhere, and lots of explosions and action, and less John Hughes. The chance to do Mallrats as a series allows me to do more John Hughes than John Landis and particularly the area of Hughes that I never got to tackle as much as I did in Yoga Hosers: high school. Yoga Hosers was the first time I got to play with high school characters and, oddly enough, as a forty-six-year-old man I think my maturity level is just at high school level right now? … Mallrats is high school and family melodrama with cursing in it. It’s like Degrassi Junior High if everyone said “motherfucker” and it was set in America. I love it so much. I cannot wait to do that. It excites me just to think about it.
I have been a fan of Kevin Smith’s work since discovering Clerks as a teenager and for many years have been a Smith apologist. I even really liked Red State and was excited about this new direction in his career, but his last couple films have not been good. Yoga Hosers was one of the worst films I’ve ever seen on screen at the Sundance Film Festival. Even though I may have outgrown a lot of the juvenile humor, I still enjoy Mallrats and am excited to see what Smith can do with a television series sequel. I will admit that ?it does make me nervous that Smith calls it “a family melodrama.” And without the mall, what is to set this apart from hundred other half-hour comedy shows following a family? Cursing?
Previously, Smith had mentioned that he had problems getting the rights to make a Mallrats sequel away from Universal, which resulted in him coming to the idea of a Mallrats TV series instead. In this new interview he explains why that had to happen:
Yeah, it’s completely plotted out. I’m looking at the white boards in my office right now. I walked Universal through the whole thing. I’d been trying to make Mallrats as a movie, starting at big Universal and they were like, “eh, it’s not for us, try the other division, try Focus,” and we got kicked all the way down. It looked like we were going to go straight-to-video and I could care less I just wanted to see the movie. But then Jason Mewes was like, “why don’t you do it as a TV show?” … I said, “Direct The Flash? I wish.” And he said, “No, we should do TV. Write a TV show.” I said, “Fuck you, it’s not as easy as you think. You write a TV show.” And he said, “What about Moose Jaws?” because I was wearing my Moose Jaws jersey, and I said, “No, it should never be a TV show. It probably shouldn’t even be a movie but it definitely should not be a TV show. It shouldn’t be any longer than ninety minutes.” And he said,” What else are you working on? What about Mallrats? Could that be a TV show?” And I said, “No, you fucking idiot, Mallrats could never be a TV show because…” And then I couldn’t come up with a good fucking reason! I said, “Oh my God, dude, you’re right!
I bet I could go into Universal Television and I bet you they’d be more interested because that’s where everybody’s watching things these days.” Here I am trying to sequelize, theatrically, a twenty-one-year-old movie that flopped the first time. Naturally, no one gets hard when you talk about that in the studio system. But when you step into Universal TV and you’re like, “hey, what about Mallrats the Series?” they got it right away. They said, “Are you kidding me? That’d be perfect.”
Now that television seems to be sucked into the craze of adapting older movie properties into series it makes sense that Universal’s television division would have more interest in a Mallrats sequel than the film unit. Head on over to Creative Screenwriting to read the whole Smith interview.Cool Posts From Around the Web: