Before Marvel created the MCU and thrust shared cinematic universes into the limelight, director, comedian, writer, producer, actor, podcaster and professional fan boy, Kevin Smith was ahead of the game creating what’s now known as “The View Askewniverse” – named after View Askew Films, Smith’s production company.
While SDCC is exploding the Internet with fan culture announcements, Smith & Co shared the first teaser for the highly anticipated Jay & Silent Bob Reboot. The film marks Smith’s long awaited return to his View Askewniverse; A universe that banged into existence back in 1994 with Smith’s cult hit, “Clerks,” a black & white indie film inspired by the lives of Smith (Silent Bob) and his “Heterosexual Life Mate,” Jason Mewes (Jay).
The film was a cultural phenomenon, ushering in a new era of hyper intelligent stoner comedies for the mindset of generation X. Apathetic, R rated, honest, gritty, sarcastic but dripping with heart and purpose. Smith was on fire.
Smith started blowing up in the 90’s as part of Miramax’s indie scene, which included the likes of Quentin Tarantino, Gus Van Sant and Jon Favereux. Miramax – led at the time by now-disgraced sexual predator, Harvey Weinstein – could do no wrong…and neither could Smith.
In 1995, Smith released his follow up to Clerk’s, Mall Rats, a love letter to John Hughes films which featured pro skater Jason Lee, Beverly Hills 90210 star Shanon Dougherty, Jeremy London, Ben Affleck, alongside Mewes and Smith reprising their roles as Jay & Silent Bob. Mall Rats was a hit amongst youth and counterculture alike. Complete with a cameo from Marvel Comics creator, Stan Lee, as himself, as well as an end credits scene, years before Marvel Studios was a twinkle in Kevin Feige’s eye. It would be hard to argue Kevin Smith’s cultural relevance and influence amongst fan culture enthusiasts around the world
After parting ways with Weinstein, the dynamic duo was featured in Chasing Amy (1997), Dogma (1999), Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back (2001) , a Clerks animated series, Clerks 2 (2006), and the animated feature Jay & Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie (2013) which was the last time Smith had visited the universe…until now.
It’s 2019 and Kevin Smith is back, bringing the best of 90’s stoner culture with him in the Jay and Silent Bob Reboot. The premise revolves around Jay and Silent Bob’s road trip back to Hollywood to stop a brand new reboot of the old Bluntman & Chronic Movie they hated so much.
Admittedly, some of the gags seem a little dated, but the cameos are piling in from every corner of the View Askewniverse. This includes cameos from Method Man, Red Man, Tommy Chong, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Craig Robinson, Fred Armisen, Chris Hemsworth, and even “The Creek’s” James Vanderbeek. With so many of these stars reprising roles from previous View Askew films, it’s impossible for a fan not to be excited and feel a little nostalgic.
You can hear more about the Jay & Silent Bob Reboot, as well as other SDCC announcements on this week’s episode of The Mass Nerder Podcast!