Following the failed attempts to get Clerks III (though that could still live on in a different form) and the Mallrats TV series off the ground, filmmaker Kevin Smith is finally returning to the View Aksewniverse this fall with Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, the seventh movie in this shared universe; eighth if you count 2013’s Jay & Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie.
It’s been 13 years since we last saw the pot-smoking hetero-life mates in live action, and the reason they’re back in our lives is because Kevin Smith figured out a way to use them both comedically and emotionally, something he thinks he wasn’t able to do in their previous appearances. In Smith’s words:
I've figured out how to use those characters in a way that I never figured how to use them before. Even when I look at them in their own movie, Strike Back, I still didn't know how to use them properly. After 25 years, I know how to deploy Jay and Bob as an effective weapon, like, weaponized to make you laugh. But now I can weaponize them to give you the feels. And the older I get, that's all I care about. …
I know like I can make people laugh. I've been doing that for 25 years. Some people know that about me, like the people that are still interested. They go, ‘Oh, he still makes me laugh.’ … What I've loved more than anything else in the last like 10 years is leaning into the feels of it all, because that's who I've always been.
Kevin Smith stopped by the ReelBlend podcast to chat about Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, including the inception for the sequel arriving 18 years after the eponymous duo led Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Those two have always been a source of laughs in their cinematic appearances, but now that he’s older, Smith realized it was also important to strike an emotional chord with them. Judging from the Jay and Silent Bob Reboot trailer, Jay discovering he has a daughter will undoubtedly be a huge part of that.
Ultimately, although Kevin Smith still finds humor important, he thinks that with social media’s importance and the average joe having the ability to post jokes for all the world to see, relying more on emotion is how he can make Jay and Silent Bob Reboot and his other projects truly shine. As Smith put it:
For me, the feels is everything. This is the easier way to say this. With the advent of Twitter and social media, everybody is funny. You know what I'm saying? Anybody can be funny. And that's beautiful. … I could be funny using my shit. ‘Hey, I'm funny with Jay and Silent Bob!’ But I guarantee you somebody can write a tweet that could make you laugh harder than my entire movie fucking movie, combined. … What I can do that that others can't, or do like I do, is go for the feels and hit you with the ‘reals in the feels.’ Which sounds so rhyming and shitty, but it's very true.
You can listen to the full ReelBlend episode featuring the Kevin Smith interview below, which also includes Smith’s take on the continually talked-about Justice League “Snyder Cut.”
While Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back saw the main characters traveling to Hollywood to stop the Bluntman and Chronic movie from being made, Jay and Silent Bob Reboot sees them traveling to Hollywood… to stop the Bluntman and Chronic reboot from being made. It’s funny how history repeats itself, isn’t it?
Jay and Silent Bob Reboot will first be released in theaters on October 15 and 17 as Fathom Events showings, and then Kevin Smith will do a U.S. roadshow to present the movie that will also expand to other countries early next year. If you’re curious about what else is hitting the silver screen later this year, look through our 2019 release schedule.