Kevin Smith doesn’t mind revisiting his past properties, whether he’s staging a “Reboot” for his classic stoner characters Jay and Silent Bob, or revisiting the convenience store that launched his career with Clerks III. But there’s one movie in Smith’s filmography that he’s currently unable to dabble with any more, and it’s because Harvey Weinstein is making it impossible.
Back in 1999, Smith released a comedic examination of Catholicism, filtered through the filmmaker’s foul-mouthed lens. Dogma cast Ben Affleck and Matt Damon as angels who have been excommunicated from Heaven who believe that they have discovered a loophole that will allow them back through the Pearly Gates. If that were to happen, though, a slew of banished angels would be permitted to returning, causing all sorts of chaos. It was a mature screenplay for Smith – as “mature” as any movie can be that features a giant monster made out of shit. But because it was distributed by Miramax, the movie literally belongs to Harvey Weinstein.
And he refuses to sell it back to Smith.
Kevin Smith started the long legal process to try and buy back the rights to the movie that he created. Dogma was Smith’s original idea, and the cast was made up of veterans from Smith’s ViewAskew-niverse, including Jason Lee and Jay Mewes. But the newcomers to the cast were something else. Alan Rickman, Salma Hayek, Chris Rock, and George Carlin all made their first appearances in a Kevin Smith joint.
But as Smith continued his story, the chances of Dogma seeing the light of day seemed dim. He told ReelBlend:
Which is disappointing, because while Kevin Smith isn’t really a blockbuster filmmaker known for raking in millions of dollars from his releases, he has cultivated an incredibly passionate fanbase, and even created a Road Show model that allows him to tour his films and show them as part of events that include a Q-and-A. He plans to do that with Clerks III, and he told ReelBlend he’d love to do that with Dogma one day. Said Smith:
Maybe this can be the start of the push that Kevin Smith needs to raise enough awareness to get Harvey Weinstein to give the director his movie back. Forget the Snyder Cut. Let Dogma go back to Kevin Smith, so that he can show it to fans both old and new. If you want to hear the rest of Smith's interview with ReelBlend.
While we wait for positive news on Dogma, make sure you are seeing Clerks III, either as part of a Fathom event, or when Smith brings it to a city near you.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.
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