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One Year After His Heart Attack, Kevin Smith Is Officially Filming “Jay And Silent Bob Reboot”

Too often, stories about the film industry center on the negative. There isn’t enough focus on when good things happen, especially when they happen to good people. At least for a moment today, I want to turn our attention to something nice. On Monday, Kevin Smith celebrated the one year anniversary of the heart attack that almost took the filmmaker/podcaster from us. Celebrate is a strange word in regards to a serious medical issue, but what Smith did is worthy of the term. What did he do? Well, he commenced filming on his new movie, the sequel to Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, cleverly called Jay and Silent Bob Reboot.

This was what Smith posted on Social Media to commemorate the anniversary and tease the filming of his flick:

View this post on Instagram

One year ago today, I almost died. So today, I’m living it up on with @jaymewes and Jason Lee on Day 1 of my new flick @jayandsilentbob Reboot! Thanks to @saban_films and Universal for the loot to make this epic, @jordanmonsanto and @destrofilms for making it happen, @jenschwalbach and @harleyquinnsmith for humoring my goofy bullshit one more time, and #jasonmewes for standing beside me all these years while I do the hardest thing I can personally ever do, either in film or in real life: simply shut the fuck up. I couldn’t think of a better scene with which to start the shoot than the return to the Mall with Brodie Bruce. The three of us gathered for a couple hours last night to run the lines and realized we first rehearsed together waaaaay back in the mid-90’s. It may be 24 years later and we may have 6 kids between us, but Jay, Lee and me partied like it was 1995, giggling while adding jokes and finding inflections. The Oscars were on in the background during our practice and I couldn’t help but feel relief when the “In Memoriam” montage ended and I wasn’t in it. We picked 2/25 as the Reboot start date *intentionally*, to celebrate the fact that I did not become Silent Bob forever 365 days ago. But after a blissful couple hours of making pretend with my friends on the set of my 14th film, I’m starting to think I *did* die in that operating room after all. Because what could be more Heavenly than this? #KevinSmith #jayandsilentbob #jayandsilentbobreboot #jasonlee #jaymewes #neworleans #brodiebruce #wwambassador #movie

A post shared by Kevin Smith (@thatkevinsmith) on Feb 25, 2019 at 12:01pm PST

From the last time I wrote about Smith and this project:

Right after New Year’s, Smith tweeted a photo of a preproduction meeting he was holding to kick off 2019 with. He’s spoken numerous times on podcasts that the film was happening soon, but this is even more concrete proof that Jay and Silent Bob Reboot is a very real thing. Considering how he struggled to get Clerks III or a Mallrats sequel going, this is very exciting. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is Smith at his most adventurous, so this meta return to his cinematic universe is chock full of potential. Plus, there was a time last year where we might never have seen him again. We’re lucky that Smith is still around, and doubly so that he has a new project coming together.

This is one of the movies I’m most looking forward to in 2019, provided it comes out. If not, it’ll surface again for my 2020 list. Watching Smith re-team on the silver screen with Jason Mewes will be a treat. Too often, people (sometimes even Smith himself) will shortchange his talents, but he’s one of the funniest artists in Hollywood. Watching him take down the nature of the reboot in the way only he can is going to be a riot. It’s true that I’ve liked and positively reviewed every single one of Smith’s films to date, but I’d put forward that it’s more about his work being underrated than me being some fanboy. Only Smith can make a Kevin Smith movie, so it’s a great thing to know that another one is coming our way before too long.

Back in 2014, this is what I wrote when I labeled him one of the most under appreciated filmmakers in the business:

For this week’s spotlight piece, I wanted to do something a little bit different than usual. Rather than simply look at someone who’s got a film coming out this week, I wanted to highlight someone who I feel is one of the most under appreciated filmmakers in the business. It’s Kevin Smith, a writer/director/editor/actor/podcaster who’s managed to forge one of the more unique careers that Hollywood has ever seen. Some may take issue with him being an A-lister or a star (or even under appreciated), and Smith would likely be the first to say so as well, but he sells himself short. Even beyond his work, he’s looked at as an expert on comic book cinema. For example, when Ben Affleck was cast as Batman, what other filmmaker was literally sought out by the press for comment? His mere set visit to Star Wars: Episode VII is considered an event worth writing about. That’s rare folks. He’s never been someone the Academy looks to for nominations (though I’ve heard rumors that he was in the number six spot for Chasing Amy in Best Original Screenplay) and that’s a shame. A few years back, they didn’t even pretend to consider some of the performances he got out of John Goodman and Michael Parks in Red State, and that was their loss. Don’t even get me started on the Joey Lauren Adams snub either for Chasing Amy. Point is, no matter how you slice it, he’s under appreciated and underrated in Hollywood. As such, I feel he’s more than deserving of me giving him some appreciation in this piece today.

Smith has been a trailblazer in this business. From his independent film beginnings with Clerks to his embracement of the world of podcasting, he’s ahead of the curve. He was ahead of his time in selling himself as part of the movie experience, doing Q and A sessions before or after screenings of Clerks, sessions that became so popular he still sells out venues to this very day, two decades later. He helped launch the career of Affleck, Jason Lee, and others. Smith’s impact on Hollywood has been rather wide ranging, frankly.

If you take a closer look at his work than most do these days, he’s shown an ability to handle multiple genres and themes, more so than many realize. The aforementioned Chasing Amy melded LGBT issues into a raunchy romantic comedy. Dogma fused comedic sensibilities with serious Catholic church issues. Red State was a biting satire of both government and religious fundamentalism. Smith’s work has much more to it than meets the eye. Now, with a release coming later this year of Tusk, he’s shot one of, if not the first, movies based on a podcast. He’s blazing a whole new trail as we speak. Moreover, he’s shown better taste than many realize. He turned down opportunities early in his career to make a Green Hornet adaptation, which judging by how that one turned out, wasn’t a bad decision at all. He knows his strengths and plays to them, something more filmmakers should be aware of. There’s nothing wrong with branching out, but not everyone can make every single type of movie, plain and simple.

I could go on and on about how a seemingly ordinary romantic comedy like Zack and Miri Make a Porno is actually a love letter to independent filmmaking or how Jersey Girl is one of the smarter father/daughter movies out there, but you get the gist by now I’m sure. Smith adds something extra to his work that not everyone takes the time to notice. It’s there though, and worthy of some commendation.

Overall, Smith is a unique talent that may never truly get the appreciation that he deserves. Honestly, maybe he never will, but that shouldn’t take away from what he’s done. Now that he’s in a new creative period that sees him adapting podcasts, anything is possible from him going forward. Whatever he does will have my attention, from Clerks 3 to his upcoming hockey miniseries Hit Somebody to whatever else speakers his interest. Smith might not be appreciated by the masses, but he’s sure appreciated by me.

Stay tuned for more on Jay and Silent Bob Reboot!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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