Say it ain’t so, Silent Bob.
New Jersey-born director Kevin Smith on Thursday announced that his Exton Square Mall-shot sequel to the 1995 hit Mallrats is officially on hold. In a Facebook posting, Smith explained that he has not been able to sell the project, a television series, to six different networks.
“I’ve pitched said sequel series to 6 different networks only find no takers thus far,” Smith wrote Thursday. “Mind you, I’m not complaining: Nobody gets to make everything they wanna make in this business.”
This setback is the latest in a series for the Mallrats sequel project, which Smith has referred to as Mallbrats in the past. Smith first settled on filming the series, initially presented as a sequel film but later changed to a TV show, at Granite Run Mall in Delaware County in May 2015, a plan that fell through due to the incongruous timelines of Smith’s project and the then-planned demolition of portions of the property.
The Jersey native then moved filming for the project to Exton Square Mall in Chester County in September that year, and confirmed it as the Mallrats sequel’s shooting location as recently as June 2016.
Smith FB post
A big issue with the process, Smith said in his Facebook posting this week, is that he does not own the rights to a majority of his films, including Mallrats. That problem, Smith said, also contributed to the death of Clerks III, another sequel project the director had said he hoped to shoot in Philadelphia back in March 2015.
“Sadly, Clerks III can’t happen (one of our four leads opted out of the flick),” Smith wrote.
The good news is that Smith does retain the rights to his Jay and Silent Bob characters, and has developed a script titled “Jay and Silent Bob Reboot” to utilize the beloved stoners. It is essentially a reboot of 2001's Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and involves the pair traveling back to Hollywood to stop a remake of the Bluntman & Chronic movie.
“I already met with the good folks at Miramax and they’re into it,” Smith wrote, “so I’m hoping we’ll be shooting in the summer!”
That, however, doesn’t end Smith connection to the Philadelphia area. The Jersey boy also recently directed a Batman-oriented episode of The Goldbergs, which is set in Jenkintown, and fictionalizes the childhood of producer Adam F. Goldberg.
Sadly, however, Philadelphians shouldn’t expect to see Silent Bob at any area malls anytime soon.