Yesterday, Kevin Smith corrected our assertion that he was making Mallrats 2 chiefly for his own amusement, based on some erroneous information we got from Kevin Smith—often the most unreliable source on what Kevin Smith is doing. As Smith explains, he actually has a scarier reason:
“Ho ho, the ghost of his imagination, no doubt!” we sneered from the seething, backbiting scrum of the Internet, which is filled with rats like some kind of mall. But then we followed the link and learned that, no, Smith’s making another Mallrats as a tribute to his dead friend, who always wanted to see one. It was a revelation that nailed us someplace even more uncomfortable than the back of a Volkswagen: the human heart.
As /Film reports, Smith opened up about Mallrats 2 on his Hollywood Babble-On Podcast, saying that the idea has been around since producer James Jacks first began pushing for it shortly after the original’s release. Unfortunately, Jacks himself is no longer around, having died last year. So now Smith wants to pay tribute to Jacks’ passion by seeing that his idea lives on, and making the film that Jacks spent so much of his life championing—even during the times when Smith himself would deride it:
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 ongoing 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 we’re finally going to make Mallrats 2.
While this confirms that Smith is clearly dead serious about making Mallrats 2, as well as about making us feel terrible for preemptively dumping on Mallrats 2, not much else is known about it just yet—particularly whether the Die Hard In A Mall concept is still in play. But whatever structure it takes, Mallrats 2 will stand as a living tombstone for that optimism. Like a mall.