Smith dropped by a Philly radio station to do some promotion on Yoga Hosers, and revealed that Mallrats 2 won't be hitting the big screen. Instead it's been turned into a TV series, along with a Buckaroo Banzai series he's been talking about for a while. But it all began with his attempts to get the Mallrats rights away from Universal, and that didn't go as he hoped it would...
“The way I do things is that I start talking about them until they’re true...So I wrote my script and put everything together, and then when I was done [I told my agent], ‘I’m ready to go. Do I have to reach to Universal for approval or something?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, we have to submit the script.’ And I was like, ‘Why do we have to submit the script?’ And he’s like, ‘They own the property, and it’s a formality. It’s going to be fine.’ So we submitted the script and he came back to me and goes, ‘Well, apparently Universal has never let a catalog title go. Any title they own, they’ve retained.’ ”
What turned everything around? Turns out it was Smith's work on The Flash, with the episode he directed considered one of the show's best. That opened up all kinds of doors that he wasn't even thinking of walking through...
“What we did was reconfigured it. ‘Mallrats’ is a 20-year-old movie, and the idea of sequelizing a 20-year-old movie to some people is just like, ‘Well, why would you bother, it wasn’t successful the first time.’ However, I went and directed an episode of ‘The Flash.’ But when I [went to make the show] that was kind of a weird game-changer in my career. Apparently, that’s like the best work I’ve done in long time. Not just the internet, but the press were like, ‘This is the best thing he’s done’ and stuff. I felt at home in the medium. And suddenly, because I did the episode of ‘The Flash,’ MGM reached out about ‘Buckaroo Banzai’ and that came together, and we went out and pitched yesterday and found a home for it. I can’t say who it is, because that deal’s not final, but yesterday we sold ‘Buckaroo Bonzai’ as a TV series.”
“So, while I’m in that world and space, 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’ and then we take it out in 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.”
Anything that keeps Smith working on the characters he made popular so long ago, because it seems like that is where he's most comfortable. Then again, Smith has brought his View Askew characters to the small screen before. Anybody remember the very short-lived Clerks animated series? It's okay if you don't because it wasn't very good. There's every reason to think this will turn out better.
And by the way, a schooner is a sailboat.