Writer/director Kevin Smith (Tusk) amassed a cult following in the 90s with films like Clerks, Mallrats, and Chasing Amy. Since then, Smith has created films that appealed directly to his fans - Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back - as well as those that were widely criticized, such as Jersey Girl. Additionally, Smith wrote and directed Clerks II, and is currently working on a second follow-up to the '90s flick: Clerks III.
Now, in response to reports that Smith is still planning to retire after Clerks III, the director tweeted his upcoming plans, which included a tease for another sequel to one of his films from the '90s. In an interview, Smith confirmed that he is in fact working on a sequel to Mallrats.
Smith tweeted that his schedule will including shooting Clerks III starting in May, then his hockey miniseries Hit Somebody in the fall, with Moose Jaws (which he has described as “Jaws with a moose”) early in 2016. Following up his plans for these projects, Smith wrote, “I smell a rat…”
Read Smith’s tweet:
We shoot CLERKS III in May. HIT SOMEBODY shoots September to Christmas. Then in Feb 2016, we do MOOSE JAWS. But after that? I smell a rat...
— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) March 12, 2015
In an interview on Rock 102 KFMA, Smith was asked if his rat comment meant that he was working on a sequel to the 1995 film Mallrats and he confirmed the follow-up film. Currently, he said there’s only half a script, but they’re planning to begin filming in May 2016. On the sequel, he explained he would love to make Mallrats 2 and had a “cool idea” as well as investors who encouraged him to move forward with it.
Additionally, Smith discussed early reactions to news of the Mallrats sequel and the pressure those expectations now place on the writer/director. He also acknowledged that Mallrats 2 could disappoint fans of the original movie:
"It was crazy, people reacted to that and I saw people be like ‘Oh. Really?’ But there were a lot of people who were like ‘Holy crap, this is cool!’ So now, once again, there are people to disappoint, and I'm sure I will disappoint them, but right now it's that wonderful period of like, ‘This could be excellent!’ Probably won't be, but…”
Since the sequel to Mallrats is still very early on in development, little is known about the movie, such as who will return from the original, if anyone. Mallrats starred Jason Lee, Jeremy London, Shannen Doherty, Claire Forlani, Joey Lauren Adams, and Ben Affleck. Though some original stars may return, others - like Affleck, who will begin his turn as Bruce Wayne/Batman next year - may have too busy a schedule.
Additionally, it’s difficult to picture Mallrats set 20 years later, when the term “mall rat” has largely disappeared from popular slang. At the very least, the identity of a mall rat has vastly changed from the '90s along with culture and technology. How Smith reconciles the premise and characters from his original film with current popular culture remains to be seen (perhaps that is the “cool idea” he mentioned).
Looking at how Clerks II revisited the characters and ideas from Clerks, Smith wasn’t able to recapture what was critically praised about the original film, but did manage to entertain fans. Given his comments about Mallrats 2, Smith seems to be aiming to make a film he’ll enjoy rather than one that will garner critical praise. Hopefully, that translates to a movie that fans will enjoy as well.
What do you think of the Mallrats sequel? Are you excited to see Kevin Smith’s follow up? Let us know in the comments!
Mallrats 2 is expected to begin production in May 2016.