Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes are getting animated in Jay and Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie, an all-new adventure in the View Askewniverse. Stoners Jay and Bob hit the lottery jackpot and use their cash windfall to become crime-fighting superheroes in this latest outing, now available On Demand. We recently caught up with Jay himself, Mr. Mewes, for a chat about the movie. It was originally conceived as a tour-only treat for fans, but once they realized shows were selling out, and not everyone could see it, they decided to bring it home. We discuss this, the inevitable groovy cartoon sequel that Jason is currently writing, and the destiny of the long awaited Clerks III. And for all you Todd and the Book of Pure Evil fans, don't worry! He also gives us an update on this cult classic Canadian TV show that continues to amass a huge following here in the states.
Here is our conversation with the one and only Jason Mewes:
These tent revival tour movies are always interesting to me. They have a special aura about them. You can only see the movie if it comes to your town. I like what Crispin Glover has done with his movies, and he swears he'll never make theme available outside of his shows. When we first heard about the Super Groovy Cartoon Movie, we assumed the same was true of it. But now, here we are, with the movie available for everyone to see. Why did you decided to pull it off tour and bring it home?
Jason Mewes: We're still dong a little bit of touring in the U.K. At first we wanted to do that, but the problem is, there is other stuff going on. I want to start working on...I'm currently writing, and it's almost done...The second groovy movie! My point is, the touring had to stop because Kevin Smith is busy writing movies, and directing movies. And I am working on the second one of these now, so we couldn't keep touring with it, except on these few dates that we have left. So, I don't know...Personally, I wanted to get this out there more. I wanted people to see it who didn't get to come out. Because a lot of the places, which was awesome, sold out. So a lot of people didn't get to see it. I don't feel like it's their fault that they missed it. They tried to come and come see it. I want them to be able to see it.
It's also not the 70s, where you're able to keep something on the road in circulation. People want it now, and they want it available on their phones. While you guys are selling out stadiums, I imagine there are just as many people that don't want to get off the couch, but they still want it. They don't want to put in the effort. But then again, that's kind of what makes a road movie special....
Jason Mewes: Yeah, it's like you said, and I get it. It has that appeal. If you come, you get to see this movie on tour. We were going to leave it at that. We even thought we'd tour more. We'd tour Canada, we'd tour the U.K. We wanted to keep it going, and come back to some places we missed in the states. But again, Kevin wrote Tusk and he shot Tusk. And now he has written another script about Krampus. There is all this stuff going on, and we couldn't tour anymore. We had to decide if we wanted to leave it as is, or if we should try and get it out there more. If people, after we get it out there, on VOD...If people are into it, we'll definitely...I already want to tour and do another one. But, we need to see if people are interested beyond the people that came out to see it the first time. I think that is sort of where I was at with this...
You're writing the second movie...How much input did you have in the writing of this first one that is coming out this week?
Jason Mewes: I didn't have any, to be honest. Some of my dialogue, I would adlib a little bit. I would add a little bit of my own stuff into it. While some of the other actors were shooting, I would have them do outtakes. So we could have that, just to use, in case we were going to do the VOD. I wasn't sure how this was going to go when we first started doing it. When Kevin gave it to me, I was going to do 10 eight-minute episodes because I was financing this myself. What was going to be faster? What was going to be cheaper? I didn't really know what I was doing, or how I was going to go about it. It just all seemed to fall into place. Though, for the first one, Kevin had written it years and years before that. It was what it was with me adding some of my own voice, adlibbing. Some of the actors came in, we'd say, "Oh, say this!" We'd add it. So, no writing for me on the first one. Just a little adding business. But this next one is all me, and a buddy of mine, Clark, he is a writer and he is helping me with the format. And some of the other stuff. I'm really excited, because we're almost done, and it's really cool. Then I'm going to give it to Kevin, and then he will do a pass on the script. Make it what he likes. Then we'll see what we do with that.
How protective are you with the character at this point. When Kevin comes to you with an idea, do you ever stop him and say, 'No, Jay wouldn't do that.' Or do you just go on that ride with Kevin, and let the character grow directly from his musings?
Jason Mewes: I just go with Kevin on it. Even if I don't, maybe, agree with something. I wouldn't say no. That's not in our relationship for me to say, "No, I'm not going to do that." But I will say, "Hey, can I do this instead?" And I hope he says, "This is funny, too. Why Don't you do that?" Every once in a while, there will be that moment where it feels too goofy. And I'll say I feel goofy doing it. I ask him, "Do you think this is funnier, or not as goofy?" And I hope he goes with it. I don't think I've ever gone, "I really don't like this." I don't think I have ever said no to him, just between you and I...(Laughs) No! Just kidding! But, no one has asked that. That's a great question. The best example I have of that is Zack and Miri Make a Porno, where he asked me to get naked. I asked him, "Kev, what are we going to do? Are we going to put a log in front of my character, so you don't see my junk? What's it going to be?" In the script it didn't say, necessarily. In the script, it just said 'Jay walks out butt naked.' I just assumed we'd put something in front of it. But he says, "No, I was thinking about it, and I think you should just come out swinging." And I was like, "I don't know. I have my family. My nieces and my nephews, my sister. My 13 and 15-year-old niece and nephew watch it. I mean, they are older now. But, then they were that age. Then you have my wife's mother, she was going to go to the premiere and see the movie. Anyway, in the end, he said I should do it, and I couldn't tell him no. So I said I would do it. (Laughs)
With the second groovy movie, are you able to do something with the character that you've always wanted to do, that Kevin hasn't ever allowed you to do? Is that your take on it? To air some of Jay's personal demons out?
Jason Mewes: Well, Kevin came up with the idea of where he wanted to take it. But then I have been going over all the different stuff. I wanted to see what I wanted to add. We're going around stopping Michael Bay from making all these remakes. So, that was Kevin's idea. From there, I was able to put in all the stuff I wanted to see, like robots and goofiness. I added a bunch of different elements to it. Just different stuff. I don't want to give it away, but you're right. I was able to add in a bunch of stuff that I had ideas for that we could do with animation, that you couldn't do unless you were going to have a blockbuster budget on a live action jam. I got to do all of this in the cartoon. I just read it again, and I'm waiting for Kevin to read over it again and give his notes. But I'm really excited about it. I think it's going to be better than the first one. We like the first one, don't get me wrong. It's just a little different.
You guys are always so open and interactive with your fans. I feel, for me at least, and I know a lot of other people feel this way...A more personal connection to these characters, and you and Kevin as people. When you release something, its like old friends stopping by to say hi. There's that level of intimacy in your work that comes through in the characters. Do you ever feel burdened by that? Or do you welcome that type of fandom?
Jason Mewes: I don't know. It's been like that from the beginning. I didn't plan on acting. We did the second movie, and I remember going to the first comic book convention, and that was the first time I noticed all the people that really dug the movies. This was way back in 1996. Or 97. I remember, it was so surreal to me. I realized that these are the people that like the movie, and they are people that want to wait in line for two hours to say hello. And its surreal to me twenty years later, and I love it. We do these live shows, and it will go late. There was this show the other night, for example, and it was three in the morning, because the comic before us was running late, and myself, I can't help but want to sit and sign everything, and take pictures with people, and say, 'Hey, what's up!' Because, again, these people have been around since the first movie. They were on the first View Askew site. Back in 96 or 97, it was just message boards. So, yeah, I definitely dig it. But my wife...We're married now, and she's not into being on camera so much. But walking around is a big deal. To be able to go to London and sell out there, to sell out the Big Apollo Theater, and having people want to watch, and hang out, and talk about what's still going on. You talk about having a more personal relationship with the characters. Yeah. Over the years, you see these characters change and evolve. Its funny how Kevin writes it. Clerks 1, that's exactly how I acted at that age. Minus selling weed in front of a store, that was me 100%. I used to yell obscenities and pull my pants down, and all that kind of stuff. Then you have Mallrats and the dancing, and the comic books, and all that stuff I was really into. Fast forward to Clerks II, me being arrested for a deployed air bag and having to go to rehab, and being sober, that was all true. I really did get arrested, and I went to rehab, and Kevin sort of incorporated that into the movie. I was listening over and over again, and I figured out who sang the Goodbye Horses song. I kept playing it for Kevin. I used to do all that sort of stuff, and he incorporated it into the movie. He has changed the characters over the years. It is surreal, to this day to me. I mention this, because it still sticks in my head. The night of that 3 o'clock show. It was 3 o'clock in the morning. There were three couples. There were six of them, and I am not kidding, they had to be anywhere from 60 to 70 years old, and they were cracking up. I thought, "These people must be here for a different show." I saw them because we're on stage, and they happened to be in front of us. They paid for the tickets to be early, to be up front. I'm like, "These people must think they are here for something else." Because we do some a lot of F on stage. We talk about my drug use, and us being friends, and sex, and blah, blah, blah for the Jay and Silent Bob Get Old Show. There are these people there who are this age. Then we walk outside and there are three 17 year olds there with their family. You know what I mean? Its this ring of fans, so many years later, its like its been passed down. It's so interesting to me. Sorry, I am blabbing now. I'm just saying to me, it is surreal. Did I answer your question?
Yes, that answers my questions. I don't mind listening to you talk. I've watched all the specials on Netflix. I know what you guys are up to. It's entertaining to me. I always learn so much.
Jason Mewes: That's awesome.
I want to know, with Tusk and this Anti-Claus movie that is coming out, what happened to Clerks III? Do you know when we are going to see it, or anything about the storyline?
Jason Mewes: Yeah, well...Look, I know for a fact that Kevin really wants to do that. The first delay was because he was waiting on the Weinsteins. They have the rights to one and two. They get the first look at it. So, Kevin wrote it, and the budget was higher than normal. It was higher than the other movies. They had sixty days to give him a yes or no. So, while he was waiting, he came up with the idea for Tusk. Then the Weinsteins came back and said, "Why don't you get the budget down, and we'll talk again." So we had to...Well, not us...My wife actually runs the company, and is a big part of SmodCo, and she does a bunch of this stuff, she is way smarter than I am. But anyway, we had to get the budget down. While we were doing that, Kevin had this Tusk idea, and he said, "Well, it's done. And it will only be this amount of money. While we wait on Clerks III, why don't we do this?" That's why that happened. Now, he has written another horror movie right after. He was still waiting for an answer, so he said, "Look, why don't I maybe do this movie?" He really wants to do Clerks III, but he really wants it to be the right timing. It's a higher budget than the first two. To be honest, in general, and not just with him, it seems like they're only making Captain America movies and X-Men movies, that are $200 million, or they are making a movie that only cost between $1 million and $2 million. So, you have a $10 or $15 million budget? It will happen...But he had these other two movies, and he already did the one. Now he'll do the second horror movie, and then he'll move right into Clerks III. As for the storyline, it's amazing. I don't think I'm allowed to say anything. I know, every time we do a Q&A, he talks about it. But he doesn't give too much away. I have read it a couple of times. The difference to me is that you are laughing and crying. Its serious and honestly, it's fantastic. Hopefully things pan out like they should, and we start shooting by the end of the year. I'm really looking forward to it. I know, I look at it, and I'm going to be playing Jay at 40. Really? But again, I think it would be the perfect movie to stop Jay and Bob, or the View Askewniverse, or whatever he wants to call it. Honest to goodness, it's a good script.
Is Jay going to be married in the movie?
Jason Mewes: No, he won't be married in the movie. he won't be married, that won't adapt...I don't think Jay...Ah, it still would be fun! But in the movie, he didn't write it as he's been married. There are changes in the movie. The new script. It has more recent stuff. It is honestly great, I'm not just saying that. I have read it a couple of times, and I love it. If everything goes according to plan, it should start shooting by the end of the year.
I know we're almost out of time. I have one more question, and so many people will kill me if I don't get this out...What is happening with Todd? Are we going to see more Book of Evil?
Jason Mewes: Yes! I just did the voice over stuff. There is going to be an animated movie. That is a great script, too, man! I read it, and I was laughing out loud. It is so great! At the same time, while I am excited to see the animated movie...I think they were able to do some other things with it, because it is animation...But, man, I wish there was a season 3. Because it's such a great show. I don't know why it took so much time for the first season to get traction. I think it was nominated for 8 Geminis. Which is big. It won a Gemini for Best Comedy Ensemble. In the first season and the second season. The ratings were good. I guess it was just, from what I have been told...It was really expensive to shoot each season. So when the third season came around, they thought it was too expensive. So there won't be a season three. But there will be an animated movie. It will tie up what goes on. But again, who knows? I hope they can do, maybe, a live action movie. Or perhaps another season. Maybe it will get enough traction that they'll be able to do a couple more seasons somewhere else. Again, the movie...Like you say, this is big. Every Q&A and podcast we do, we get asked questions about it. People ask, "What happened to Todd and the Book of Pure Evil?' I feel like it's gotten its traction. People really seem to dig it now. The whole ratings system, and studios, and money...Yeah, I don't know...You would think the popularity and the awards it had, they would have at least gotten to season 3. So...
It was kind of hard for us to see it here in the states. I didn't really know about it until it came out on DVD, and then it was available on Netflix.
Jason Mewes: Yes, exactly. That was the thing. It came out on Syfy and Comedy Central in Canada, the first whole season. And then it came out somewhere in the states. It took awhile for it to get here. That's how it works. I remember with Degrassi High, it was out for a while before it got here. I assumed, I think what happened was...They didn't pick up a Season 3 in Canada. I think they gave them the option to pitch it around to some of the studios in the states. Everyone in the states said it was too expensive. But at that time, I feel like it still didn't grab its traction yet. I don't know. Again, it took some time. I hope the animated movie is out and about right away in the states. Because it's going to be fantastic!