Last year, actor, writer and filmmaker Kevin Smith announced that he would be bringing back one of his classic '90s stories. In the same vein as the Clerks sequel that came out 12 years after its original, Smith will be revisiting its prequel Mallrats, more than 20 years later.
Unfortunately, it's been almost a year since we heard more concrete news about Mallrats 2, also known as MallBrats.
In a recent interview with 93.3 WMMR (via Consequence of Sound), he discussed the confusion he and his team faced and how they plan to move forward. Early reports stated the film would start filming in this summer, but there was a hitch in production after Smith ran into some legal issues with Universal.
Initially, his agent assured him that there would be no problems purchasing the rights to Mallrats, but things ended up being a little more complicated when push came to shove:
"So I wrote my script, put everything together, and then I told my agent, when I was done, ‘Alright, I’m ready to go, do we have to reach out to Universal for approval or something or let them pass or whatever?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, we have to submit the script.’ And I was like, ‘Why do we have to submit the script?’ ‘Because they own the property and it’s a formality … it’s going to be fine.’"
In the end, Universal was unwilling to release the title to Smith, so he realized the studio would have to be involved in some capacity. After trying to figure out different financing options throughout negotiations with Universal, he found his answer after directing an episode of The Flash.
"I went and directed an episode of 'The Flash,' and when I went up there, it was kind of a weird game changer for my career. I felt at home in the medium. ... A couple months ago, we started reconfiguring the idea of doing 'Mallrats' not as a film but as a series, and Universal and I are just about to close our deal to do 'Mallrats' the series. Then we take it out into the world and find a home for it. So, instead of doing a 'Mallrats' movie, I’m going to do 10 episodes of a 'Mallrats' series.”
Although Smith didn't divulge the plot details, his cinematic and real-life friend Jason Mews — known for playing the charmingly crass and chatty Jay to Smith's Silent Bob — revealed one potential storyline for the sequel in an interview with the UK's Metro.
"The characters from the first movie will be there with their kids in the mall. I don’t know how much I’m allowed to say though…"
As for which of the characters will return, Mews also had a little bit of inside information:
"Everyone from the last movie will be part of this movie – except maybe Ben [Affleck]."
From the names Smith has confirmed so far, it really does sound like the whole crew is back!
Here are some of the cast that have been confirmed to return so far, alongside Smith and Mews: Shannen Doherty, Jason Lee, Joey Lauren Adams, Jeremy London, Claire Forlani, Renée Humphrey, Ethan Suplee, Michael Rooker, and of course, Stan Lee.
There's currently no premiere date for the Mallrats follow-up series. Smith's next project Yoga Hosers will be released on July 29.