Kevin Smith changes his mind a lot. Clerks 3 was going to be his final film. Then he plunged head-first into a bizarre walrus-themed horror movie, Tusk, which will be out in 2014. The writer-director has entertained the notion of a hockey movie, Hit Somebody, for years. That film never materialized. Now, instead of retiring, Smith says he’s merely shifting focus, and explained the motivation behind his new decision in a length (lengthy) Facebook post.
On a recent episode of his Smodcast, the popular podcast that has been keeping Smith busy for the past few years, the Clerks director laid out what he claims will be his "mantra" moving forward. He said:
From now until I drop dead, I'm only ever gonna make a flick that only I would/could ever make. JERSEY GIRL, ZACK & MIRI, COP OUT - while I love them all, these are movies anybody could make. Like 'em or hate 'em, nobody else but me could've (or would've) ever made CLERKS. Or CHASING AMY. Or DOGMA. Or RED STATE. Or CLERKS II. Or MALLRATS. Or JAY & SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK. I let my view askew get standardized for awhile there - so much so that I was happy to walk away from it all for three years and do other shit. … Now that I've spent the last three years clothing/feeding/housing me and my family without a dime of movie money, I know that I don't NEED film to pay my bills anymore. So I can make a movie when I feel like it, and if I've got nothing to say in a screenplay, I can just fuck off for awhile and do other shit until I do have a movie in me. Like I think I do right now.
That brings us to the image above, the cover sheet for an original screenplay Smith is tackling called Helena Handbag. Similar to Tusk, Smith says the idea behind the story started on a Smodcast episode, and the plot "concerns mankind teaming up with Hell to save existence from extinction at the hands of a Rapturing giant Jesus - which means the budget has to be LOW, because NOBODY'S gonna wanna make that movie."
And he’s right. Very few studios will put the money up for that movie. But Smith has shown in recent years that he can fund his own projects – or his "whimsy," as he calls them in this post – and bring finished efforts to distributors. Or he can just distribute them himself, as he did (to a certain extent) with Red State. Smith has a unique voice, and a passionate fanbase. I’m sure they are thrilled that he still has projects in the pipeline that inspire him. If the View Askew universe continues to churn out movies, you can bet these fans will show up in support.
In the post, Smith says Clerks III plans to shoot in May, while Helena could follow. So it’s a long way off. But with Tusk, a Clerks sequel and this new effort underway, it sounds like Smith is back in the filmmaking business… a business he never really left.