by David G. Knappe
This is bound to be surreal. Just imagine this lineup of unlikely cast
members: Chris Rock, Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson all hanging with Jay and
Silent Bob. That's the scene likely to be created on the set of the new
Kevin Smith film, "Dogma". "Yep, Jay and Bob are expanded in 'Dogma'",
announced Smith, who is pleased by audience reactions when the drug-dealing
duo from his debut film "Clerks", pop up in his films.
Packed to capacity, film fans from the Mile Square gathered at the Elks
Lodge in Hoboken, NJ, last week with Kevin Smith, writer/director of "Clerks"
and "Mallrats", in town to screen his latest film "Chasing Amy". Smith fielded
questions after the screening.
Religion, which has evolved as a common theme in Smith's films, is explored
further in "Dogma", which displays the difference between faith, spirituality
and organized religion. "But we're doing it as dark road comedy", quipped
the director. "At one point, we even got a call from an ad agency saying
that Six Flags Great Adventure was interested in having
animated versions of Jay and Bob to replace Bugs Bunny in the commercials.
I thought, man, how cool! And then I thought... wait a minute. We can't do
that. These guys are drug dealers!!"
Smith revealed that he has also been tapped to write the screenplay for the
new Chevy Chase "Fletch" installment. "It's great for me, because growing
up, Chevy Chase always cracked me up. I was also a huge fan of the Fletch
books by Gregory McDonald. These books are where I picked up my ear for
dialogue. So it's kind of full circle for me. Plus I get to make a
shit-load of money."
When asked about his technique for working with the big name actors set to
star in his new film, Smith replied, "I've got to rehearse with them for at
least three weeks straight. I know Spielberg likes to just get in and
shoot. That's insane for me. But do you think I'm going to tell him he's
[Actor / writer / director David G. Knappe lives in Hoboken, NJ, and has
several films in development, most notably "Games Without Frontiers", set to
star Jack Mulcahy.]