Ah, Mallrats, now there is a blast from the past. The sophomore effort by Kevin Smith after his debut hit Clerks, it had more budget, bigger stars and was in colour. Still, it was a simpler time when Shannen Doherty was still a name people recognised, Ben Affleck was not taken seriously and Jason Lee had not yet established his comedic genius with My Name Is Earl. It even starred a lesser known Ethan Suplee, who would play his brother in Earl.
A sequel is something that was mentioned every now and then, mostly as a joke. But Smith has confirmed that he is making a followup, saying as much in his latest podcast. Slashfilm transcribed the whole bit:
About a year and change ago now Jim Jacks, who was a producer on Mallrats, died. And we talked about him during the show and what a good dude he was….Mallrats came out and died at the box office. It only found an audience later on. But for years Jim Jacks would always be like “We should do a sequel.” Because when we were making the movie he was like “This is gonna make $100 million.” He was obviously off his fuckin’ rocker. But he was like “You’ve gotta come up with a sequel.” “And I was like, “I have one already.” “What is it?” Mallrats 2: Die Hard in a Mall. And he was like “Oh thats perfect we’ll do it.”
So the movie came out, didn’t do any business and no talk of a sequel ever came up again at the studio and what not. But Jim Jacks never fucking lost faith. Even when I would kick Mallrats and make fun of it, Jacks was always the guy going “No man. Know what would be funny and what’s gonna redeem us? Mallrats 2: Die Hard in a Mall.” So it was one of those things that was an on going theme in his life.
As I said, he passed away a year ago. I had lost touch with him for quite a few years before that and this was the biggest fucking fan of movies you’ve ever known in your life. And Clerks was the thing that kicked off my career but Mallrats brought me into a complete different world and that movie doesn’t get made without this dude at Universal going “Let’s make it, let’s make it.” So I felt real shitty about missing the last years of his life and I met some people who were like, “We ate with Jim every fucking Thursday night and he still talked about you.” I hadn’t seen him in years and he was still talking about me and that movie. So a year ago I was sitting here talking about this shit and I was like “I wanna honor the man in some way” and this is how we’re gonna do it. We’re gonna finally make the movie I wish to christ I made when he was living, man. So were finally going to make Mallrats 2.
There you have it – Smith is making the sequel as a tribute to his late friend and producer.
My first reaction is, well, that’s interesting news but I thought Clerks 2 sucked. It lacked the raw energy of the original and injected a whole lot of melodrama that didn’t work with the movie. Clerks 2 was more Chasing Amy than anything else, which wouldn’t be a bad thing if it wasn’t supposed to be Clerks. Will Mallrats 2 suffer a similar fate?
Then again, I never really start at Mallrats when I think of Smith’s work – not before I come up with Clerks, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Red State and even Chasing Amy. It is to me in many ways the lesser of his extensive filmography. So I’m the wrong guy to talk about this. Mallrats fans, though, are probably rejoicing. Or are they?
Last Updated: March 17, 2015