Superman Lives, Dogma II, And 10 More Movies & TV Shows Kevin Smith Almost Made

Every iconic filmmaker has a ton of projects they never got off the ground, and Kevin Smith is certainly no exception. Of course, there is a vast difference between him and directors like Orson Welles, specifically the fact that the majority of his projects are either low-budget comedies or superhero fare. Still, it can't be denied that Smith is an influential figure that has shaped popular culture through his lengthy filmography.

He also just so happens to have several notable unmade projects under his belt. 

Much like Guillermo del Toro, he's been pretty open about them, resulting in some interesting details coming to light. Here is just a sample of the many projects Smith has wanted to get off the ground, but for one reason or another never could.

Clerks: The TV Show

Before "Clerks: The Animated Series," there was going to be "Clerks: The TV Show." While the animated series was still criminally underappreciated and unfairly canceled, it at least had Smith's direct involvement. The same can't be said for "Clerks: The TV Show." Sure, this might be cheating, but it is still such a wild story that I just had to include it in this list.

Upon the unexpected success of 1994's "Clerks," former Miramax owners Touchstone Pictures wanted to expand the story of the film in an unconventional way. By unconventional, I of course mean that it would center around a completely different group of characters and be far more PG-friendly than the movie. According to Geek, it would also be greenlit and start production before Smith was even made aware of the project, as he was busy making "Mallrats" at the time. Despite this, he revealed during "An Evening With Kevin Smith" that he did attempt to write an episode for the series, which he said was rewritten to be a B-plot.

So, was all this fuss and creative drain worth it? Did it make an interesting show despite these problems? The answer is no; Smith and the rest of the film's crew considered it terrible, and the show never made it past the pilot phase. If you're morbidly curious, the pilot has become available on YouTube.

The Six Million Dollar Man

This script is a bit of an anomaly on this list, as there isn't a ton known about it other than a few basic facts. Smith had submitted the script, which was commissioned by Universal Pictures, back in 1998. While the original "Six Million Dollar Man" aired on ABC from 1973 to 1978, Universal Television Distribution held the rights to the IP, making it prime real estate for a big screen adaptation.

However, the film never got the green light. TV Series Finale notes Smith as having said at one point that "there was an exec who dismissed it as being more like a comic book than a movie." While various iterations have been in the works over the years, Smith's script did turn into the 2011 Dynamite comic series "The Bionic Man." So, even if things didn't work out exactly as Smith had probably hoped, at least it ended up seeing the light of day in some form.

Green Lantern

The disastrous 2011 adaptation has left an undeniable mark on the Green Lantern character and team, which is a damn shame considering how cool their concept actually is. While it's good that "Green Lantern Corps" has seemingly been spared by recent HBO Max cancellations, I can't help but wonder where the character would be in today's pop culture sphere had a better movie been released earlier.

In a 2000 interview with Ain't It Cool News, Smith revealed that he almost got the chance to make such a movie back in 1997. It's no surprise that Smith is a massive comic fan, so it would make perfect sense to have him helm a "Green Lantern" film. However, Smith actually declined to take on the film when producer Lorenzo DiBonaventura approached him with the possibility. The reason? He isn't a fan of Green Lantern:

"He said 'How about Green Lantern? Do you think Green Lantern would make a good movie?' I said 'I guess under somebody else, but I'm just not a huge Green Lantern fan, and I don't think I'm the guy you want adapting it. I'm sure there are people out there who are massive fans and who really know a lot about the character. Maybe those are they guys you should be going after and not me.'"

Superman Lives

When you think of unfinished projects, I bet you automatically think of "Superman Lives." After all, how could you not? Its rise and fall are plagued with all sorts of production problems, from combative producers to fluctuating budgets and even giant spiders. However, it is primarily associated with Tim Burton, who was selected as the director of the doomed project. While he was seemingly not considered for the director's seat, Smith did pitch and write the initial script for the film, which he had less-than-fond memories of. Case in point, this stellar recollection of one bizarre demand that producer Jon Peters had for the film as relayed to Mania Movies:

"[He] said, 'That gay Black guy in your movie [Hooper from "Chasing Amy," played by Dwight Ewell] did an excellent job. That's what we need in Superman. [...] We need that kind of attitude, that voice. What about L-Ron [the robotic assistant of villain Brainiac], can't he have a voice like that? Can't he be gay? I want a gay R2D2.'"

So, yeah, we don't have time to unpack that. Anyways, Smith's time with the film only got worse after Wesley Strick, screenwriter of 1992's "Batman Returns," was hired to rewrite his script. It was altered so heavily that Smith was no longer credited as its screenwriter. Of course, this was just one problem among the myriad that plagued "Superman Lives."

Dogma II

The original "Dogma" is infamous for several reasons, primarily its skewering look at Catholicism and its inaccessibility on streaming or home video. However, it was still a critical and commercial success, remaining Smith's highest-grossing film. Because of this, it was probably inevitable that a sequel would at least be considered, and a tragic world event actually became the genesis for that idea. On the View Askewniverse forums in 2005, Smith revealed that the September 11 attacks, especially the ultra-religious responses to them, made him consider a thematic sequel.

"I mean, the worst terrorist attack on American soil was religiously bent," wrote Smith. "In the wake of said attack, the leader of the 'Free World' outed himself as pretty damned Christian."

However, he stressed that heightening religious tensions and safety concerns remained a major problem he'd have to overcome. The definitive end to a "Dogma" sequel, however, came in 2017, as the director revealed in a 2019 Business Insider interview that Harvey Weinstein had pitched the idea to him in a phone call. While Smith had said that he would consider it, no actual deal was made to greenlight it. 

A week after the call, Weinstein's long history of sexual abuse was exposed by The New York Times. If that doesn't kill a movie's chances of production, I don't know what will.

Untitled Prince documentary

The most uncharacteristic project on this list has got to be this unfinished documentary Smith filmed on music icon Prince. The genesis of the project came after the musician refused to give the director the rights to his song, "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World," for "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back." However, he agreed to allow Smith to film some footage at his Paisley Park estate for a week in the hopes of screening something to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.

While this sounds like an unprecedented opportunity, Smith recalled that he ended up being duped into making something he had no intention of making. He claimed that the musician, a devout Jehovah's Witness, banned any swearing and insisted that the documentary be so legendary that it would change the world.

"He's like, 'I want you to shoot people's reaction to the album. Let them listen to it and you have them talk about it. And then I want to talk about religion and lead that into race,'" Smith recalled, "'and lead it into the music biz and radio. At the end of the week, I want to change the world.'"

Sounds like a daunting task. To hear about the rest of this bizarre and pretty damn entertaining story, check out his recollection while on tour for "An Evening With Kevin Smith."


This cancellation is perhaps the most tragic one on this list because it was so close to becoming a reality. The pilot for this show was shot back in 2016 for a then-up-and-coming streaming service called Rivit TV. However, it wasn't released on the service until 2018, partially due to Smith's massive heart attack earlier that year. When it was eventually released, however, Rivit TV would not pick up the show without the financial support of the director's fans.

"Our goal is to directly connect creators with their fans, liberate the creative process and invite the audience to greenlight shows from their favorite storytellers," said Rivit TV chief content officer Marcus Riley in a statement at the time (via Variety).

According to IndieWire, the goal for funding was around $5.3 million dollars. Unfortunately, when the funding due date of August 25, 2018, came around, the project went silent. It's safe to assume that despite Smith's status as a cult filmmaker, the fans simply didn't crowdfund enough money to make the show a reality. What's even worse is that the "Hollyweed" pilot has seemingly been erased from Rivit TV, now called DevoTV, although it is available to watch on YouTube.

Plastic Man

With the ongoing animated purges at HBO Max, it's probably for the best that this film was eventually scrapped. However, it still probably would've been cool to see, especially since Patrick O'Brien isn't the most well-utilized superhero in DC history. According to an episode of his "FatMan Beyond" podcast, Smith revealed that he was contracted by DC to write a script for a "Plastic Man" animated movie back in 2017, having found it while going through his laptop files.

"I completely f***ing forgot about it, and they paid me to write it," recalled Smith. "It was with ... Jim Parsons. What a lovely dude, but he was gonna be the voice of Plastic Man."

Obviously, it never wound up getting picked up. While details about why were not revealed on the podcast, it is actually pretty funny to hear Smith admit that he had forgotten about it despite the script being written in recent memory.

Ranger Danger and the Danger Rangers

And now we're back in the View Askewniverse. Word of this project, which was teased on a shirt in 2006's "Clerks II," began circulating in 2008, with Smith saying that it was an idea he had been working towards for years. According to Gizmodo, it was supposed to be a send-up of classic science-fiction movies, with him specifically citing "Flash Gordon" as an influence on the project.

However, that was pretty much all the information we had about the project for years. An unverified and likely dead article claims he once considered making it into an animated film, which could work given the cheesy throwback material he'd likely been dealing with. That being said, this can't exactly be confirmed.

What can be confirmed, however, is that the project would still find life in a roundabout way. 2019's "Jay and Silent Bob Reboot" featured the "Ranger Danger" comics in a rebooted and grittier style. Hey, at least the "Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse" tribute art Smith posted on his Facebook looks cool.

Kingdom Keepers

Now, this should be a throwback for Gen-Zers everywhere. The "Kingdom Keepers" series of books by Ridley Pearson was a smash success when it began in 2005, spanning 14 books in total. Combining an original story with notable Disney theme parks and IPs, it once seemed extremely likely that a television series, specifically one for the then-upcoming Disney+, could be a success.

So, they attempted to do just that with Smith at the helm. He wrote a script for the pilot in the hopes that the show would be among the first Disney+ originals. Unfortunately, he claimed that the show was scrapped after a new figure was placed in charge of the app (presumably Disney+ CEO Michael Paull). He revealed the reason why it was canceled on Twitter back in 2020, and it was because it would have used too many IPs. 

That's a bit rich, don't you think?

Interested in seeing a long-gestating Kevin Smith project that actually survived development hell? You're in luck, because "Clerks III" hits theaters on September 13, 2022.