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Kevin Smith Provides Update On 'Clerks 3,' Planning 'Tusk' Spinoff & Is At Center Of Latest 'Batman v. Superman' Rumor

by Kevin Jagernauth
July 7, 2014 10:25 AM
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Even though he doesn't even have a movie in theaters, the chatty Kevin Smith has been generating a lot of print over the last few days. The gushing comments about his "Star Wars: Episode 7" set visit made the rounds on the July 4th weekend, and waking up this morning, it seems the filmmaker has even more to share about a couple of projects on his plate. And just for the hell of it, he's at the heart of latest rumor surrounding "Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice." 

But first, the newsy stuff. "Clerks 3," which for a while Smith was saying would be his next film with plans to shoot this past May, has hit a major roadblock. "[The Weinsteins] passed. I went in with a $6m budget and they were, like, ‘Oh no Kevin, this is too high’. Bob offered us distribution but they weren’t going to finance it," the writer/director told Screen Daily.

It's unclear what this means about the fate of the movie, but presumably the Weinsteins have the rights to the franchise, so unless Smith can raise the money himself to produce it, we'd wager it might not happen. And one can't entirely blame the Weinsteins. "Clerks II" cost $5 million (plus probably double that figure for marketing), and while the $24 million domestic take probably turned the movie a small profit, it opened in wide release in sixth place, with the studio perhaps expecting bigger results. So to go back and ask for more money for a third outing...well, we can see why Bob and Harvey might pause at that notion.

But Smith has so many other projects percolating, he can just pivot to something else, and he's already working on a spinoff to his upcoming body-horror movie "Tusk." “Like Tusk, ['Yoga-Hosers'] sprang out of a podcast,” Smith said to Screen Daily. “There are two characters in a convenience store in 'Tusk' that you see for five minutes, very much Ronsencrantz and Guildenstern. I’ve built a whole movie around them and I have brought one of the other characters from Tusk back.” 

And so, with Smith consistently busy and constantly finding new outlets for his endless creative spirit, you might think he may not have the time to write a fake script that's not going to amount to anything, just as a favor to a major studio. Which is why this latest 'Batman v. Superman' speculation should be taken with a grain of salt. According to a tip given to MovieWeb, Smith was approached by producer Charles Roven and director Zack Snyder to write a fake treatment for the "Man Of Steel" followup. Smith then upped the ante, offering to write an entire fake script and leak it to bloggers, to throw them off the scent of the real-deal screenplay. Apparently, the tactic has worked, with many recent rumors attributed to this fake script. Perhaps? Something to think about anyway.

Either way, you can put away any notions of Smith packing it all in and moving to Florida. “I am definitely not going to retire,” he said. “I am only going to make films that only I could ever make or would ever make.”

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  • adrian a | July 8, 2014 4:05 PMReply

    Scott P, studios don't make every single dollar their film makes in theaters. I've heard they make about half of what their film earns domestically so sp if clerks 2 made 24 mill domestic, weinstein probably made about 12 mill domestic and maybe like 20 percent of the films foreign gross. What sseems like a 14 million dollar profit is probably something like a much smaller profit. :)

  • Scott P | July 8, 2014 11:02 AMReply

    Is there something wrong with my math here? $24mm less a $5mm budget less $5mm marketing is a $14mm gross profit. So now getting roughly $2.50 for every $1 you invest is considered "small"?

  • MAX | July 7, 2014 11:56 PMReply

    Indiewire always seems to have a condescending tone when they mention Kevin Smith. But come on. What a good guy. His Episode VII was beautiful and definitely hype-inspiring. Just put out another movie already. I'll pay to see it.

  • MAX | July 7, 2014 11:57 PM

    *Episode VII story

  • Johan | July 7, 2014 3:02 PMReply

    Weinsteins had the right to say yes and be asked first, but if they don´t wanna do it then he can take it some place else of finance it himself.

  • hank | July 7, 2014 2:52 PMReply

    25mil on a 5 mil budget is not a bad return. 'spring breakers' did similar business on a similar budget and it's considered a "huge success" by the same people that write these articles.

  • j | July 7, 2014 11:05 AMReply

    Kevin Smith smokes too much weed.

  • Rick | July 7, 2014 10:37 AMReply

    Too high? Clerks 2 had a 5mill budget and it made just over 24mill stateside.

  • Rick | July 7, 2014 10:40 AM

    EDIT- sorry I wrote more not sure why it didn't stick. Anyways, I figured where it opens wouldn't matter if they can still make money considering how inherently low the budget is. I mean, would a movie with a cost of 200mill and a box office of 204mill better as long as its at the number 1 spot?

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