Following months of silence on the long-awaited sequel to "Mallrats," Kevin Smith has dropped a big update. During an appearance on 93.3 WMMR's Preston & Steve, the director revealed the new direction that the sequel to the 1995 cult classic film will take.
First, Smith explained the lengthy delay as having been caused by legal red tape with Universal, the movie studio that owns the "Mallrats" title. Smith said that he initially asked his agency if he could make the sequel totally on his own by writing a script and then buying the title from the studio. Smith explained, "And the agent told me, ‘Yeah, absolutely, they’ll let it go.’ And I said, ‘Are you positive? Because I don’t want to start this if that’s not the case.’" After being assured that that would be the case, Smith wrote the script.
But that, it turns out, was not the case. "So I wrote my script, put everything together, and then I told my agent, when I was done, ‘Alright, I’m ready to go, do we have to reach out to Universal for approval or something or let them pass or whatever?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, we have to submit the script.’ And I was like, ‘Why do we have to submit the script?’ ‘Because they own the property and it’s a formality … it’s going to be fine.’"
And it was not fine. Smith and his agent learned that Universal has never in their history let a catalogue title go, and they weren't going to start with "Mallrats." "So we entered a protracted negotiation with Universal trying to get it made in different pockets of the studio,” explained Smith.
But there's a happy ending here: over the course of the negotiations, Smith changed his mind about targeting "Mallrats 2" as a film. "I went and directed an episode of The 'Flash,' and when I went up there, it was kind of a weird game changer for my career," said Smith. "I felt at home in the medium... [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. Then we take it out into 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.”
Smith also added that his "Buckaroo Banzai" TV adaptation is close to finalizing a deal with a distributor. "I can’t say who it is because that deal is not final, but yesterday we sold Buckaroo Banzai as a TV series," said Smith.
(via Consequence of Sound)