INT: Kevin Smith, Pt. 2

In Part 2 of my exclusive interview with Kevin Smith, he talks about dealing with the MMPA and why TWILIGHT is good for geekdom. We also get some new info on his new Batman character, Baphomet, his Bruce Willis/Tracey Morgan flick, A COUPLE OF DICKS (or D.I.C.S) and the current status of RED STATE. (Part 2 is far safer for the workplace than Part 1, which you can read here. No bukkake.)

Kevin Smith

Well, your next career move could be talking to the ratings board for people. You were talking about that on Twitter this morning...

I mean, only when I know I've absolutely got the moral right. Like, the dude...the reason I brought it up or saw it on Twitter was because this dude asked me. And he had a great question. He said, 'you beat the MPAA all the time. Or three times. Every time they give you a rating, you get it changed, but for [JAY AND SILENT BOB] STRIKE BACK you had to cut to get it. And that was because A., Bob Weinstein didn't want to fight it. Bob Weinstein was like, 'fuck it. Just cut it. This isn't a first amendment issue. Why do you want to fight it? It won't bring attention to ratings. Just go out to the market place. Let it be a movie, not a cause.'

And also, I think, going into it, I don't think I had the moral right on it. I probably would have won if I did...I really had no justification. The scene specifically was Jay (Mewes) listing a bunch of things he wanted to do with a hooker. It's in the deleted scene section of the DVD. The decision was taken out of my had by the fact that Bob didn't want that. At the same time, if Bob was like, 'go ahead, fight it,' I don't know if I could have won that one. The other three I knew I was going to win. Not because I was so much smarter than them, but I could point to other examples and be like, if that's OK, then clearly, this is OK.

It's about pushing the boundary a little bit. I mean, I get it. When we started, people didn't make movies where they talked like they do or like I do, or like they do in movies now. That's why CLERKS got an NC-17. They were like, nobody talks like this. This must be harder than an R. But now it's common. Now it's commonplace. But at the time, somebody had to roll it out first. So I took a few shots that at the same time I knew were right, based on the system they set up and the things I'd read and the bylaws and the outlines for the appeals process. I was just like, oh, we're good. I mean, unless they just feel like dicks that day, we're in the right here. Clearly. So it wasn't like I'm so talented. To me it just kind of played out logically.

I had heard that they wanted to change the name of your upcoming movie A COUPLE OF DICKS to A COUPLE OF COPS?

Yeah, that's not even the MPAA. That's Warner Bros. contacting the network saying...we were still in production...based on what I went through with the ZACK AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO title, we said, hey, we've got this movie called A COUPLE OF DICKS. It's a cop movie and it stars Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan. Are you guys going to give us a hard time with advertising? And the big three networks came back and said, 'yeah, you can't advertise with that title before nine o'clock. So right away, Warner Bros, which is a huge corporate empire, said, let's fix this title. This title's got to go, because we just spent thirty five or whatever million dollars making this movie. We're not just going to lose it all because we can't advertise to our core audience. And who's our core audience but people who watch sports on the weekend.

So suddenly we had to think about changing the title. Marketing is trying to go in there and duke it out and trying to see if we can come to some sort of compromise about the title. One of the easiest ones would be that when you refer to “dicks” it's detectives. It's D.I.C.s for Detective in Charge. It's not dicks. So if it is A COUPLE OF D.I.C.s is that OK to run before nine o'clock? Or are they objecting to hearing the voice over where it wouldn't matter if there were periods or not? “Dicks. They just got harder.” Whatever.

Sooo, I hear you like TWILIGHT...

No, no, no no. I haven't read TWILIGHT. I don't know about TWILIGHT. What I do know is that my daughter likes to read now. It's not like she didn't before, but that got her really engaged. At the same time, it's brought a sorely missed gender into genre fandom. I was in San Diego [for Comic Con] this year and all of a sudden, there were girls! There were a lot of them! They discovered the hidden club house, finally. They're here! They've discovered the hidden planet. Look at them! They've got boobs! A lot of them were young, unfortunately, but that just means they'll grow up into older fans. So, I heard a bunch of people grousing, fanboys grousing about “these fucking Twilighters and the TWILIGHT girls. You fucking idiots. Are you dumb or just gay? Why would you want to chase girls out of here, dude? There are rarely girls here. They just upped the quotient, man, by like thirty percent! It's all fucking balanced now. And you want to chase them out because you don't agree that vampires are superheroes? Shut the fuck up, you know? It's like the STAR WARS fan looking at the STAR TREK fan and the guy dressed as Chewie looking at the guy dressed as Spock and saying, 'fucking geek'...judgement from the same group. I just find that bewildering.

Yeah, this was the first time I had to wait online for the bathroom at Comic Con.

See? Normally, girls room? All free.

So is there anything you can tell me about your new Batman character, Baphomet?

Well, the first two issues are out and so people have seen it are like...he's at the very tail end of issue one, and the opening of issue two and then we thought we saw him at the end of issue two, but it was more of the heart-eating telepath. Cornelius Stirk projecting an image Batman wanted to see. He's back in issue three and issue four. All the issues, naturally, because we're weaving him into the DCU slowly. And in issue three, they have their first conversation, and then we get a little more insight into him. In issue four, things get really interesting with that character. I just didn't want to dump him in the first issue and go, 'here. He is as masterful as anyone in the DCU,' or shit like that. I just kind of wanted to bring him in...I've been a reader for a long time, and I remember back in the day, when they wanted to launch new characters in the DCU.

Grant Morrison, a great writer, created a character named Aztec, which was a great character, but he just got fucking dumped into the DC Universe, and was in a couple books at once. His own book and then the Justice League as well. A very huge introduction and a very hardcore introduction to a character that clearly they were going to weave into the fabric of that universe...for me, I just wanted to do that slow. Wade in, you know what I'm saying? First we're ankle deep, then we're hip deep and then we're tits deep in the water, and you know, this is nice. OK. Welcome. Here's the character.

A little mystery is a good thing. Then people are intrigued. And then he gets his own series and his own movie.

Totally. And the more mystery you can assign to the character, you know, the better chance you have of keeping people around. Like the first season of MAD MEN. It's not until the end that you figure out the whole Bob Draper story but until then, what's going on? I've got to stick around and figure it all out. And there's nothing wrong with doing that. I mean, look, I'm in it for the long haul, so I'm looking for longevity, not just for the storyline, but for the character, so I'm open to just trying to take my time with it and we've got a whole series after this mini-series is done to kind of get to know the character.

And then you can cast Ryan Reynolds when you make the movie.

Yeah, that's the guy. Deadpool, Hal Jordan, Baphomet. I will say, it is such a dopey name. But it's the name we kind of started off with. But it's such a dopey name that, in issue three, there is a conversation about how dopey the name is...people know...the goat and there are some fucking metal overtones to it and shit like that, but it's justso dopey. Baph-o-met. 'Call me Baphomet.' But is it any dopier than Bat-man?

I wanted to ask you about the state of RED STATE. We've all been waiting for that and I'd heard there were some financial issues.

I've been waiting too. The script is done. The script's been done, I guess right after ZACK AND MIRI...first I gave it to Harvey, and Harvey was like, 'it's a horror movie. Give it to Bob.' I gave it to Bob, and Bob said, 'this isn't a horror movie. Give it to Harvey.' Then eventually both of them were like, 'we don't see any market for this Kevin. We don't know who this is for.' And I was like, this will be an uphill battle for me because, shit, if the Weinsteins are going to pass on this movie, obviously this is not a very commercial venture at all. It's real...it's hard to assign it a genre. It's not very commercial material. I get that. That's why I'm not like, 'I can't find fucking money! It's ridiculous that I can't find the fucking money!'

I understand. The material doesn't really inspire investors with confidence. And what's going to happen is that sooner or later it's going to come down to, 'hey, weren't you the guy who made fucking CLERKS out of your own wallet? Well, why can't you do that again?' So eventually, I think, if I have to, I'll finance it. Look, I didn't get this far by being a super businessman. And investing in a Kevin Smith film is absolutely stupid. I'm trying to avoid that if I can. But if I have to, I'll go that route.

Kevin's new book, SHOOTING THE SH*T WITH KEVIN SMITH is in stores now.

Source: JoBlo.com



Latest Entertainment News Headlines


Featured Youtube Videos