When it comes to geek-friendly directors, there are few as well-known as Kevin Smith. A lover of seemingly just about all things comic book, sci-fi, or horror related, Smith has always made a point to be accessible to his fans, even as his level of notoriety continued to grow and grow. Of course, anyone with a large, loyal fanbase usually has an equally large pool of detractors, and Smith is no different. Despite that, his career as a director, writer, producer, and even actor continues unabated.
Never at a loss for projects, Smith’s latest gig will see him return to the small-screen to direct an episode of ABC sitcom The Goldbergs. On the surface, this seems like a natural fit for Smith, as the average episode of the 1980s-set Goldbergs is practically bursting with references to pop culture from the decade famous for things like new wave music and the rise of home console video games.
The content of Smith’s Goldbergs episode is right up his alley too, as he’ll be directing The Dynamic Duo, a story centered around the release of Tim Burton’s Batman (1989), one of the first true blockbuster comic book films. Starring Michael Keaton as Batman and Jack Nicholson as The Joker, Batman ’89 was an absolutely massive hit, raking in over $400 million worldwide on a budget of only $35 million. To put that number in perspective, when adjusted for inflation, Batman ’89 is second only to The Dark Knight on the Batman box-office chart.
While somewhat oddly titled – since Robin doesn’t appear in Batman ’89 – The Dynamic Duo episode of The Goldbergs begins filming next week. As one might imagine, noted Batman fan Smith is quite excited about the gig, and offered the following comments:
“I grew up watching the Adam West Batman and I was in a sold out movie theater for Tim Burton’s Batman on opening day, June 23rd, 1989, so I can’t wait to recreate those early eras of Bat-amania in the Goldbergs Universe. Luckily, the funny folks in front of and behind the cameras who make this hysterical show every week will be doing all the heavy lifting in our time travel experiment.”
Smith’s sentiments seem to confirm that he won’t be writing the episode, which is actually the norm for him when it comes to TV shows. To date, Smith has the directed the pilot for The CW’s short-lived Reaper, and episodes of The Flash and Supergirl. He’s written none of them, which stands in stark contrast to his films, of which he has only directed one that he didn’t also write. It makes sense though, as TV shows have structured writer’s rooms full of large teams of people, and probably can’t afford to be thrown into chaos by a new voice that’s only briefly popping in.
The Goldbergs returned last night from its winter hiatus with an episode inspired by the Oscar-winning Robin Williams drama Dead Poets Society, another movie released in 1989. Smith’s Dynamic Duo is set to air sometime in the spring.
The Goldbergs seasons 4 airs Wednesdays at 8pm on ABC.