**Silent Bob is Silent no more! Director Kevin Smith brings his Mooby's Pop-up to Boston at House of Blues for a limited engagement.
We got a chance to sit down with him and talk all the nerdy tidbits about Stan Lee, his upcoming Masters of the Universe: Revelation, helping restaurant workers in the pandemic, and his shot-from home sitcom, Son in Lockdown featuring his entire family and introducing Austin Zajur.**
Snootch to the Bootch!
Do617: So good to see you. you don't mind being on video, do you?.
Kevin Smith: Not at all. That's why I wore the funny hat!
By the way, I'm still happy to see you.
Trying to stay alive, man. The restaurant business doesn't make it easy though. Because, suddenly, you get access to free food where you're like, "I'll take three orders of Hater Tots"!
"I'm the man"
Why not? It's my place. Free food!
How are you feeling? Feeling good?
I'm feeling fantastic. It's been, just past the three-year mark since the heart attack knocks wood you know, so far so good.
Thanks for coming to Boston.
Lovely to be here, man. Boston has always been a big part of everything. I was just telling my wife today. I was like, the first time I came to the Commonwealth was with Clerks. Like even though I lived in New Jersey, I'd never come up to Massachusetts. There was no call for it and stuff. Yeah. It was from Philly to New York. They're close. Boston's like a three-hour drive. So it wasn't until Clerks that I came to the city with the Boston Film Festival and then I kept going back and like, Chasing Amy and Dogma and stuff like that.
And the boys are from here.
And the boys being from here! You know, me and Scott (Moser) were involved with Good Will Hunting as well. So there's, always a wonderful tie to the city, to the community. Also, this is a big college town and at one point in my career, I was "The College Guy".
Yeah. You're my "College Guy", I suppose. I went to MassArt right down the street from here. In the Nineties, we were looking up to you, man. You've been inspiring people forever.
You were so close with Stan Lee, I got to interview Stan it was an honor. an honor. You've always said good things and, and you were taking care of him. And I just want to say, I appreciate that you did that.
What a great life. So the thing about the loss that breaks the heart is he was a vital 90-year-old and he didn't have that the last year or two years of his life, the way. He was kind of tossed around and literally suffered from elder abuse.
That shaved years off his life. He was so vital, but there came a certain point where he's not only was he has physically beaten down but just the thought of like, "this is what it's come to".
How could you do that to everyone's Grampa?
So, you know what I'm saying, who gave so much joy in his lifetime, but at least, you know, he had that entire ten-year period of Marvel cameos, where at the end of his life, he got celebrated by the entire world. Everybody knows his name, even people that never heard of him before were, "Oh, that's Spider-Man's baby daddy".
You know, maybe it was your idea to put him in the films?
I remember seeing them in a movie years ago. Yeah. That was, for us, it was a no-brainer. Cause you got a movie about a guy that loves comic books. You got to Stan... Perfect marriage. And when we did it, I remember the movie came out in '95, there was just like, "Oh, Who? Stan Lee? That's quaint". You know, years later it became. A stamp of quality.
I love seeing him in that movie. He's younger, obviously.
I remember when he came to work with us, they were telling us "you gotta be careful, man, because this man is 73 years and he can go at any point". And he lasted another 23 years!
*God bless him, man. Well, another thing, you've come here to Boston, to the restaurant at the House of Blues, which is a great venue. Lots of people, we've been out of work, but there are ways that people can keep it going. I appreciate that you came here to help us out.
I first heard of the Mooby's Pop-Up in the show that you did, Son in Lockdown and, that was just such a great thing to have your wife at that and Harley and Austin. Was it fun to just shoot if you're own your house?
It was so adorable, especially considering it was in the middle of the quarantine and nobody was doing anything.
So this TBS show Celebrity Show-Off presented itself as an opportunity. And they were like, "you can do anything you want, we're gonna give you a camera, shoot, whatever you want". And I was like, "can I shoot a sitcom"? They're like, "absolutely go ahead". So the entire town was shut down and you know, it's dopey to say, but we were literally the only sitcom in town that was shooting.
It was a weird moment and it was fun to do it. It's the best job in the world, you don't even have to get dressed and drive to the studio. You wake up and you weren't in the studio. So it was such a good time!
But it was a Kevin Smith joint, man! It was really, really funny Austin is such a rockstar!
He's great. I put him in Clerks III...
Do you have any updates, about Masters of the Universe: Revelation?
I think the first time folks are going to see any imagery is coming up in May. We're in April right now. So next month.
Do you like animation?
I love it. It's phenomenal. The boys at Powerhouse Animation did a wonderful, wonderful job. They do_ Castlevania_ on Netflix, Seis Manos, Blood of Zeus.
So all the characters look exactly the way they're supposed to. They just look like they were drawn now as opposed to the '80s. And so hey, if you want to talk about people who elevate it, man.
I love the scripts that we came up with, but Powerhouse absolutely knocked it out of the park.
They elevated our scripts and made far better cartoons than we provided them the "word power" to do so. Watching the whole thing come together, man. Because so many people work on it from your writing staff to then, your recording, and the vocal tracks. Then it all gets handed over to the animators and they do.
iI's like movie making and it's like comic books at the same time.
What's really wonderful about it is when you're working on a movie or something or a TV show, you know, you're seeing results on a regular basis because you're doing it. You got this window of time to do it when you're just the writer or showrunner on this animated series.
My main job of just "let's get this thing written" was done early for us, it was the first job done. So I go about my life and then every few days there's a delivery of an art pack and you're like, "Holy shit". They drew all the characters and then as time goes on, it's like, "here's the first animatic".
"Here's the second animatic". "This animatic is locked. Here's the automatics for episode two". Episode three, four. Oh my God. The finished animation for episode one is coming in. So it's this, this waterfall of productivity that you have nothing to do, with, other than getting to appreciate it.
You wrote and your part is done. I mean, you can't go and make a script change.
We can, as long as "lip flap" is off-camera. That continued and as much as periodically, we need to pick up these lines, we need to add new lines. Netflix thinks this needs clarity. So then you come up with that stuff and make that work and stuff.
So you might need to even make new scenes, etc...
Generally, it's not too deep in the process and going like, "Oh, I'm gonna write a whole new scene".
if you do that, it's a big deal because the process is eight to ten months in. And once it starts going, it starts going, but being at the receiving end of all, the joy, the here's what Battle Cat looks like, you know, Oh my God, this is what Evil-Lyn looks like. This is what Evil-Lyn looks like with the helmet off.
Every design before actually beginning to see the animatics and the animatics is the barest form. It's a digital storyboard or a moving storyboard. And even those were so pretty. I was like, "we could air this, fuck finishing, let's air this"!
Let's just say thankfully Powerhouse push to finish it because the finished product is gorgeous.
You can't just put out the pencils, you gotta ink this thing!
I would! I come from comics, so I like when they do. So I love when they do Batman Black and White and just letters inked and pencils version. So I could have dealt with it, but people will be delighted to see how colorful the whole thing is.
*Not for nothing. I love your Green Hornet. It was so great, I didn't expect to like the character, I mean, I liked what you did in comics, but I was just like, "Oh, this is a really great thing". It was drawn really awesome.
Jonathan Lau, man. He made that him and Phil. Phil Hester took my stuff and then he broke it down. Um, but wow. They turned it into a beautiful book. What was so satisfying about that for me was at the end of when I read all the books together, all the comics together...
I was like, "It would have worked. We could have pulled that off as a movie!" Somebody could have, not me!
*Absolutely. And coming up with comics and you are reading Batman, you are reading Spider-Man. You don't think of Green Hornet for comics, but you can do something cool with it. I could talk to you all day!
I tried to come up with the best "Cantina" question for you, one that I would ask on your podcast Fatman Beyond and not be embarrassed. But before I get to that, I watched the scene last night with the Ball Lickers, on the "Mooby's Internet" internet. So, you know, people get a chance to come down here and they can...
...and actually relive it. You are the ones who are the Ball Lickers!
They can just do that from their phones!
That was just so funny. But my, my "Ultimate Cantina Question" is about the Snyder Cut! Let's say Warner or whoever gives you $30 million dollars to redo a Kevin Smith movie, or to redo the CGI. What Kevin Smith movie would you give the #SnyderCut treatment to? Is it Tusk?
I would go Red State. I would just shoot the ending. We cheaped out at the ending because we don't have any money. So, the ending was supposed to be the apocalypse. Angels showing up, slaying people and shit like that, these giant angels.
So at a certain point, we were like "Alright, do you want to shoot the ending of that movie and that ending?"
"Do you want to wait to shoot that movie in that ending for however long it takes to find the money for it?"
"...or do you want to shoot a version of the movie now where you've let go of the supernatural element that was in the last scene?"
So then I changed it to him being over the loudspeaker and "it was a hoax and blah, blah, blah". So if I had like #SnyderCut money, I'd go back and I would shoot the angels show up, ending like the apocalyptic world ending. I'd have a lot of money left over!
But I think that would be the one that I would love to take in the direction of the original vision.
And I love Red State what it became and stuff, but that ending would have been so fucking weird.
Do617: Well, you know, when people after seeing this interview, they might demand the release of the #SnyderCut of Red State.
KS: Release the #RedderCut!
Yes! Well, I'm just so happy to talk to you, man. I'm really excited to be here at Mooby's. Thanks for helping out Boston. Thanks for helping out everybody here at the House of Blues Restaurant and, everybody makes a couple of bucks and people can have some fun doing it because you came here.
I think this is a perfect time. just about to open up. This is like a preview. This is a preview of the good time for the summer that's going to come.
They were asking me when I rented the car today, when I was leaving Logan, the lady was like "You're from, California, how is it about there? I was like "the exact same thing as it is here. You guys are about to open".
That's been the fun part of taking Mooby's around the country is that it's always at a restaurant that's been closed for a while.
So it's good for the business. It's also good for the staff morale. You can forget when you're in the restaurant business, your friends are your coworkers, you see them every day.
A lot of folks haven't seen their friends for a year and stuff.
"Zoom Cocktail Hour" just doesn't cut it.
It really, really doesn't at the end of the day. At the end of the day, being in a room with people, human interaction, I'm not saying you got to lick each other's faces and shit..being in a room with people and talking and nothing will replace it.
Well, thanks so much, Kevin. It's an honor, man!
Damn pleasure man!
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