I’ve been becoming more and more of a Kevin Smith fan in recent years. Clerks 2 to me was not only the funniest film of last year, but also one of the smartest comedies I’ve seen in a long time. The themes and issues raised and mused about in the movie are layered, and many people over looked them while in the middle of laughing at the about ass-to-mouth jokes. But the themes of friendship, the priority it holds… why would we never hesitate for a moment about moving away from our friends for a job, and yet would never even consider it if it meant moving away from a spouse? Life, getting older, where we are and where we’re going… these are the things in Clerks 2 that really got me. But I digress…
Smith has been pounding away at his first horror script that has tentatively been titled “Red State”. It was the film he was going to do next after “Zach and Miri Make A Porno“. But they’ve hit a snag… for the very first time in their relationship, the Weinsteins have actually turned down a project that Smith has brought to them… they’ve passed on Red State.
Our friends over at /film have the following quote from Smith (which I assume they got from Smith’s site)
“It’s the first time Harvey and Bob have passed on anything I’ve wanted to do, but if they were gonna pass on anything, this’d be the one to do it on. The only explanation Michael gives me is ‘Harvey thought it was more of a Bob flick and then Bob didn’t get it. They’d rather just concentrate on ‘Zack and Miri’ at the moment, which we’re all pumped about.”
To me this isn’t really a surprise at all. The Weinsteins have just been brutally burned by investing in a horror/genre flick, Grindhouse. I mean seriously… they really took it in the pants on that. Some trades are saying when all is said and done, the Weinteins could end up having lost over $40 million on that project. OUCH! I don’t care how big you think the Weinstein company is… that’s a LOT of money that can sink a company.
And so it begins. I mentioned that our collective failure to support projects like Grindhouse (a colossal bomb) would ultimately lead to studios making safer and safer films and shying away from genre limit pushing films. And if the Weinsteins turned down Smith… that really says something.
Kevin Smith will find a way to make Red State, of that I have no doubt. But having it turned down by the studio signals a really unfortunate new reality… one that we ourselves are forcing the studios to adopt.