I’ve always had a soft spot for Kevin Smith, especially his 2001 comedy Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, which I quoted endlessly through high school. Those two characters are more than just stoner icons, as I believe their friendship has been one of the most enduring, not to mention endearing, in screen history. So I was delighted by today’s news that God will be re-opening the View Askewniverse book and they’ll be returning to theaters in Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, a sequel that I’d gladly pay “$15 bucks, little man,” to see on the big screen.
Saban Films has picked up North American rights to the movie, which will see Smith and his partner in crime Jason Mewes reprise their beloved roles. The question is, who else will join them? Will Ben Affleck return in some capacity, be it as Holden McNeil, Shannon Hamilton or simply himself? Could Will Ferrell come back as Marshall Willenholly? And what about Suzanne, the adorable orangutan who poses as Jay and Silent Bob’s lovechild? I have so many questions, but Smith has to save some surprises for die-hard fans such as myself. One surprise? Production is already under way!
The end of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back saw the duo fighting their online critics, and in keeping with that meta mission, Jay and Silent Bob Reboot will take aim at sequels, remakes and, yes, reboots, even though it will effectively serve as all three at the same time. Smith has been through a lot over the course of his career, so who better than Silent Bob to roast the industry and its obsession with nostalgia while playing into that nostalgia itself.
Saban’s Bill Bromiley said that Jay and Silent Bob Reboot is the beginning of a new initiative to partner with seasoned filmmakers and talent on IP. The company has been involved since the script stage, so they’re starting to develop projects in addition to acquiring them in finished form. Saban may have a spotty track record at the box office but I’ve been a fan of its acquisitions team thanks to strong pick-ups like Shot Caller, Small Town Crime, The Girl With All the Gifts and The Vanishing.
If you’d asked me back in 1994 if Jay and Silent Bob were still going to be headlining movies 25 years from now, I’d have said no way. But Smith’s characters have stood the test of time, and both he and Mewes have fought like hell just to stick around long enough to keep playing them. Mewes has bravely battled substance addiction, while Smith, well… we’ll let him to tell you in his own words.
“Last February, I almost died. So on the one year anniversary of my widow maker heart attack, as my best friend and I will be rolling cameras on a sequel/remake/reboot of a movie we first made nearly twenty years ago! In Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back our herbal heroes found out Hollywood was making a movie based on them, so they journeyed out to Hollywood to stop it. But I’ve learned so much as a storyteller and have grown immensely as a filmmaker since then, so audiences can expect something completely different: In Jay and Silent Bob Reboot our herbal heroes find out Hollywood is making a reboot of the old movie that was based on them, so they journey out to Hollywood to stop it again. I offer my (literal) undying thanks to our amazing partners at Saban and Universal for making this dream come true and backing this cinematic silliness!”
Tired of hearing Silent Bob talk for so long, Mewes chimed in as well. “I’m tired of doing Shakespeare all the time so it’ll be nice to get back to playing Jay again. It may be 25 years since I first played the idiot man-child from Jersey but this time’s going to be the best because I’ve really grown into the role of idiot man-child in my old age,” said Mewes.
Jordan Monsanto of Smodco is producing alongside Liz Destro of Destro Films. I have no idea when Saban plans to release Reboot, but I think it’d be fitting if it hit theaters in mid-October to mark the 25th anniversary of Smith’s directorial debut Clerks, where these lovable slackers were first introduced to audiences.