Jason Mewes gave us some more information about Kevin Smith’s upcoming reboot of Jay and Silent Bob, amusingly titled Jay and Silent Bob Reboot.
For those who are not familiar with Smith’s View Askewniverse (the name he gives to the shared universe of many of his films), Jay and Silent Bob are two pothead nobodies that go on many a wacky adventure. The characters first appeared in Clerks, and afterwards featured in many of Smith’s films until finally getting their own movie in 2001, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. ]
Mewes was quoted as saying:
“I’ve read the script, and it’s amazing and it’s super clever. It’s called Jay & Silent Bob Reboot, and it’s Jay and Bob making fun of reboots. It’s funny — a couple of people have asked me, ‘are you guys even playing the characters if it’s a reboot?’ It’s not really a reboot, Kevin called it Jay & Silent Bob Reboot, and it’s us making fun of reboots, but the script’s awesome. It’s very funny.”
If you can make sense of Mewes ramblings (which makes me wonder if he so much as acts the character of Jay as happens to walk in front of a camera), then you will see that it is the usual gushing actors give to all their upcoming films. Still, there are some interesting details there. It seems that Smith is going to be spoofing Hollywood’s current obsession with reboots, which sounds like a good idea.
Reboots have been a constant plague in the industry for the past few years, taking over from remakes as the go-to method for making a successful film without requiring a single original idea. What’s the difference between a reboot and a remake? Barely bloody anything it seems! All you need to do is make a remake, then chuck in a couple references to the original and pay the old actors the bus fare from the retirement home. Well done, you have made a perfect reboot, just like Baywatch, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Blair Witch, Star Trek, Jurassic World etc. This seems ripe for parody, and it would be good to see Kevin Smith to return to his comic roots and skewer this particular Hollywood trend.
The only problem is that Kevin Smith is very patchy as far as filmmakers go. His first film was his best work, as Clerks managed to capture the feel of the 90s while still remaining grounded in reality. It has a certain low-budget charm that is hard to replicate, as the rest of Smith’s filmography shows. For every Dogma there’s a Mallrats. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back was an average comedy, and really showed that the titular characters work better as part of an ensemble than as the protagonists. Smith’s recent career hasn’t been filled with the most chart-topping titles, as each new film seems to flop harder than the last.
While I might sound very pessimistic about the upcoming project, I still have a glimmer of faith in Kevin Smith. It is nice to see him returning to two of his earliest and best characters, and I have hope that the man still knows how to satirise Hollywood like he used to. It’s just at the same time I worry that Smith is the very thing he will be parodying: an out of touch filmmaker using his old successes as branding to score a big profit.
Smith has said that the film is supposed to start shooting this Autumn, but has given no hint as to when it will be released. Let’s all hope that he manages to capture the magic of his early work and Jay and Silent Bob Reboot lives up to the hype it will invariably create.