After a couple (largely unsuccessful) forays into horror comedy, Kevin Smith is moving forward with production of what’s being called Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, a belated sequel to 2001’s Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, which at the time was meant to put a bow on the Askewniverse. That universe had started with 1994’s Clerks, with related characters weaving in and out of many movies, Jay and Silent Bob acting as connective tissue for the whole world.
The story will reportedly get Jay and Silent Bob back together as they once more head out to Hollywood to stop a movie from being made. This time, though, it’s the planned reboot of Bluntman & Chronic, the fictionalized version of the two that featured in the first movie.
I’m not sure how I feel about this. You’d be hard-pressed to find a bigger fan of those first six Askewniverse movies than me. I also liked Jersey Girl and Red State, though some of his other attempts to break out of that particular mold have worked less well for me. Yoga Hosers in particular was almost painful to watch. And Strike Back did work as a bookend to the first story, signaling that Smith had moved on.
But moving on has proven harder to do than it seemed at the time. Smith’s feature films in the last few years haven’t been great but he’s become a constant and apparently beloved presence behind the camera on shows like “Supergirl” and “The Flash.”
So while I certainly will look forward to another Jay and Silent Bob movie, it also feels like an even more desperate return to his old persona than Clerks II did in the wake of Jersey Girl’s failure. I want Smith to succeed but wish he could find something new to say.
Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.