One year ago yesterday, writer and director Kevin Smith very nearly died. He had a heart attack while performing a pair of live shows in Southern California. Luckily, Smith survived the event, but at the time it was far from clear what the future would hold for him. One year later, Smith celebrated not being dead by starting production on the long anticipated Jay and Silent Bob Reboot. Smith took to Instagram to reflect on how far things have come...
Kevin Smith says they specifically picked February 25 as the start date for the new film as a nod to the event that took place 12 months earlier. If things had gone slightly differently on that day, if Smith and the people around him hadn't realized there was something wrong in between stand up sets, then he might not have been there to make the new film.
Jay and Silent Bob Reboot will see the titular characters returning to Hollywood after learning that the comic book characters they inspired, Bluntman and Chronic, who got their own movie adaptation in 2001's Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, are, like every other popular property in reality, getting rebooted. The pair tried to stop the movie being made the first time around, or at least get paid for it, and it sounds like they'll be back at it in the sequel.
Kevin Smith shares his return with his perpetual partner in crime Jason Mewes, who plays Jay, and Jason Lee. According to Smith here, Lee is portraying his Mallrats character Brodie Bruce in the scene they shot on the first day, not to be confused with Banky Edwards, Lee's character from another Kevin Smith film, Chasing Amy. The Jay and Silent Bob "cinematic universe" is a somewhat confusing place, as all the films Smith made between Clerks and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back take place within the same continuity, but Smith tended to use an ensemble cast, so the same actors tend to play multiple roles within that universe.
Smith has been openly working on the Jay and Silent Bob Reboot for a couple of years, so this is literally a movie that would have never happened if Smith hadn't survived one year ago.
Smith calls the experience of being back with his old friends 'heavenly" and 24 years after Mallrats being able to go back and do it all again certainly sounds like fun. For the generation that was of a certain age that followed the career and films of Smith, the nostalgia of returning to that world as a fan is probably equally exciting.
With cameras now rolling we can expect Jay and Silent Bob Reboot to probably hit screens within the next 12 months. No release date has been set, but February 25th (or the 21st or 28th since they're actually Fridays) wouldn't be the worst choice, it would make the two-year anniversary of Smith's brush with death that much more important.