Kevin Smith Jay and Silent Bob Reboot

In Kevin Smith‘s breakout debut film Clerks, which launched an interconnected series of movies set in the “View Askewniverse,” one of the main characters worked at a video rental store. The movie was set in the mid-1990s, so that occupation made sense.

Now, 25 years later, Smith is filming Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, which is also set in that cinematic world – but today, video rental stores are no more. In the caption of a new set photo, Smith explains how he convinced Redbox to come in as a replacement and teases how his new movie features “one of the funniest sequences [he’s] ever shot.”

A few weeks ago, Kevin Smith took to Twitter to ask Redbox to appear in his upcoming movie. They responded, and now this new set photo from Jay and Silent Bob Reboot reveals that they agreed to participate.

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This is not a @redbox ad – this is a big thank you from @jayandsilentbob Reboot to the good folks at Red Box for the Gretzky-like assist in getting us a kiosk for our movie. I Tweeted at #redbox in pre-production, asking if they could help us out and the Red Boxketeers delivered! As with all the good things in my life, this movie starts at Quick Stop. And as in the real world, video stores (like Jay and Silent Bob themselves) are a thing of the past. So to help tell our story of how time marches on and how the past gives way (reluctantly) to the inevitable future, having the modern version of a video store Clerk make a wordless cameo at the top of the flick really sets the tone. Don’t get me wrong: we’re making a vulgar l’il comedy. But since the vulgar l’il comedian behind the camera nearly dropped dead last year, there’s a surprising amount of introspection for a #jayandsilentbob flick. I know this because I spent all weekend editing, cutting together 23 minutes of the movie, including the opening and closing scenes. The first scene is easily one of the funniest sequences I’ve ever shot, and the final scene is heartbreakingly beautiful for a movie about cartoonish weed dealers who go on the journey of a lifetime. Again. We start Week 2 in 10 minutes. #KevinSmith #Jay Mewes jayandsilentbobreboot #jayandsilentbob #videostore #quickstop #JasonMewes #SilentBob #clerks #nola #neworleans #JayandSilentBobStrikeBack #indiefilm #indiefilmmaking

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The Redbox thing is a nice conclusion to a social media call for help, but Smith’s caption tells us what this movie is actually going to be about: “…how time marches on and how the past gives way (reluctantly) to the inevitable future”. That’s a pretty big idea for a film about a couple of characters who have spent the past quarter century getting high, and it’s the first thing about Jay and Silent Bob Reboot that actually has me interested in what kind of story Smith is telling this time around.

And then there’s that comment about how the opening scene ranks among the funniest things in his filmography. On one hand, of course a comedy director is going to say something like that to generate interest in his upcoming project. On the other, Smith seems to be approaching this movie with a clear-eyed focus he hasn’t had in a long time, so I’m hoping this is more than just empty hype.

The writer/director/star also points out that “there’s a surprising amount of introspection” in his script as a result of his near-death experience last year, echoing a comment he made last year about rewriting the script in the wake of his heart attack. So if this is truly the end for the title characters – two goofy stoners who have appeared in Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Clerks II, and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back – maybe there will be some satisfying closure to their arcs. I could see an ending in which former video store clerk Randall (Jeff Anderson) accepts his new station in life and rents something from Redbox being surprisingly poignant, so we’ll have to see what Smith has up his sleeve.

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