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'Mallrats 2' Will Be Kevin Smith's Next Film

In the four and a half weeks since Kevin Smith confirmed he's developing a sequel to "Mallrats," he's been rapidly reassembling the cast of the 1995 comedy with an eye -- at least initially -- toward filming early next year, after "Clerks III," "Hit Somebody" and "Moose Jaws." However, now "Mallrats 2" has been moved up on the schedule -- way up.

In the latest "Hollywood Babble-On" podcast, Smith revealed the sequel has become "the priority," leapfrogging ahead of the other projects, primarily because of location availability. Warning: Smith's comments, which come courtesy of Nerd Bastards (via ComicBook.com), contain a significant spoiler for "Mallrats 2."

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We’ve been putting together 'Mallrats 2' … It’s been a real, like Blues Brothers ‘We’re putting the band back together, on a mission from Smod. So this week, we had a lot of activity behind the scenes as well and it looks like we might — it’s 'Mallrats' and so we require a big old empty mall, and it would be nice if we could do things to the mall. So if you had a mall and the mall was eventually going away, that would let you like blow the f—ing mall up, which happens in the third act. So we found a place that we can go to and in order to get to that mall before it goes away, we were talking about initially shooting 'Clerks III' this summer and then we were going to get to 'Mallrats' in the beginning of 2016. And then it jumped into 2015, where we were going to shoot 'Clerk's and then hopefully 'Mallrats' before the end of the year. But now, based on a f—ing mall that we all dig that will be going away, the priority has become 'Mallrats.' So the next f—ing movie I’m making is 'Mallrats 2.'

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As of Tuesday, Smith has signed on 14 of the (currently) 18 targeted cast members from the original film, including Jason Lee, Shannen Doherty, Jeremy London, Joey Lauren Adams, Michael Rooker, Ethan Suplee and Stan Lee. Noticeably absent from the still-growing list are Claire Forlani and Ben Affleck. So what are the chances the latter will return, at least for a cameo?

"No word on Bat-fleck yet!" Smith said. "It'll be fun to see if we can get him."

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