Clerks Animated Series Reboot

Kevin Smith is already going back to his roots with a forthcoming sequel to the 1995 cult classic Mallrats, and he’s cooking up a whole new screenplay for Clerks 3 too. But that’s not the only dip back into the past of the View Askewniverse. The writer/director recently participated in an oral history of Clerks: The Animated Series, a short-lived network adaptation that aired on ABC for just six episodes before it got axed, and during the trip down memory lane, he said there have been talks about a Clerks animated series reboot.

Consequence of Sound has an oral history of Clerks: The Animated Series in honor of the show’s 20th anniversary, but before the story arrives, they learned of this interesting development regarding a Clerks animated series reboot. Smith has long wanted to return to the show, but the issue of who owned the rights always held him back. Smith explained:

“Figuring out who owns the fucking thing has honestly been the biggest struggle of the last decade. Because we didn’t know who owned it. It was a Miramax television product, and Miramax television doesn’t exist, and Miramax certainly doesn’t exist the way it did back then. It was a Disney thing, but it’s never shown up anywhere on any fucking Disney outlet. You’re certainly not going to see it on Disney Plus or something like that. So, for years, we were trying to figure out who owns that version of the Clerks cartoon.”

In case you didn’t know, Kevin Smith’s longtime producing partner Scott Mosier, who has also made cameos in the movies of the View Askewniverse, recently made waves in the animation world, having recently directed the Illumination Entertainment adaptation of The Grinch. With his new connections, he was able to figure out that Disney still owns Clerks: The Animated Series, and he thinks that there might be the possibility of getting a reboot off the ground over at Hulu:

“Scott’s point was like, ‘Right now, they’re trying to figure out how to put a bunch of people on the T.V. set or the movie set post-quarantine. How to work together and still socially distance. But the one thing you could do right now, and you’re doing today, I guarantee you, is that everybody could still make animation. Maybe we walk into Hulu and say, ‘Look, this is the story. Here we did these six episodes. Disney owns them. You guys aren’t doing anything with them. We have all these designs and a bunch of people we’d like to be involved. The voice cast could come back, a bunch of the writers could come back, and stuff. But all the heavy lifting has been done. It’s been time tested and vetted. So all we have to do is turn the lights back on. You could always do any Clerks cartoon you want, but if you want to do that Clerks cartoon, the one we all love, the one that would make the most sense to do, this is the very thin bridge we cross upon which may be how it gets built.”

So as of now, if Kevin Smith wants to go back and play in the original Clerks animated world, he’d have to go through Hulu. But maybe if they’re not interested, he could take the property elsewhere and do what he wants to do with it.

Clerks: The Animated Series was enjoyable enough, but it was restricted in its content since it was broadcast on ABC. If Kevin Smith had no restrictions and could get back to his raunchy style, then it might be worth revisiting. Of course, who knows if Disney is willing to play ball. I’m sure they’ve got bigger fish to fry at this point, but maybe they’ll want to take advantage of the property and get something of the ground.

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