Let’s review the strange turns that Mallrats 2 has taken since Kevin Smith first announced the project last year: First, it was going to be a movie sequel. Then, it was going to film in 2016, with Smith going through lots of public deliberations over where, exactly, it might be filmed. Then, as of last month, it was not a movie but rather a 10-episode TV series.
Smith said in June that he and Universal, the studio behind the sequel, were nearing agreement on talks to make the TV series a reality, with an eye towards getting production underway this year at Exton Square Mall outside Philadelphia. Now, Smith has given yet another update on the project and confirmed most of the cast will return.
Speaking at San Diego Comic-Con, in an interview with Deadline, Smith revealed that he has closed a deal with Universal for the series to go forward, with the idea of bringing it to a premium cable network or streaming service. That process, Smith said, will begin after Comic-Con:
We decided post-Comic Con, that’s when we go out into the world and pitch, and it’s got cursing in it and stuff, so it’s not like we’re pitching networks or anything, you know? We’re pitching all the usual streaming suspects I would imagine and cable networks, so probably Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Showtime, HBO — it’s a pretty limited pool for us because of the language factor, but it’s a weirdly family show. It’s just, you know, with a lot of cussing in it and stuff, but it’s funny, dude, I love it.
He also said that the series will combine the characters from the first film with their kids - as an homage to Degrassi: The Next Generation. He added that virtually everyone in the original cast has agreed to return, although he has not yet contacted Ben Affleck.
Mallrats as a series is kind of like one gigantic blob of soap opera with a lot of dick jokes in it. When we were doing the feature version of it, I had 90 minutes to tell one story. But wow, essentially, I have 10 half-hour episodes, so that’s five hours to kind of pull and tell the same story and really like dive into the characters. Like, all the characters came back in the Mallrats 2 script, but sometimes it’s just like, hey, it’s that person, you’re moving on.
It sounds for the interview that the first hurdle - getting original movie studio Universal on board - has been cleared, although whether they can get Netflix, Amazon, or HBO on board is another question. Will such networks be interested in an adaptation of a more than 20-year-old movie, which was a notorious flop at the time of its release, in which the only established movie star in the cast may not be coming back?
Then again, Fuller House, which used a similar formula of an original cast - including a lot of people who hadn’t gotten prominent work in year s- with their young children, and that was one of the most successful shows in Netflix history. So perhaps the Mallrats series can find success after all.
We’ll keep you updated on Mallrats 2 as more information becomes available.