Trivia / Kevin Smith

  • 10-Minute Retirement: He announced his retirement from filmmaking in 2010, following his disastrous experience on Cop Out. However, his love of the process was reinvigorated by both Red State and Tusk.
  • Broken Pedestal:
    • Kevin was once invited to make a documentary on his musical hero Prince about his journey to religious enlightenment. The Purple One's Cloudcuckoolander antics, vague instructions and habit of making people wait eventually took their toll on Kevin, who nearly missed his first Father's Day as a result. He left the project sorely pissed not only because he found out that the footage he'd shot would only end up in Prince's infamous vault but because Prince didn't even have the decency to thank him, say goodbye or perform "Batdance" for him.
    • He loved Bruce Willis from Die Hard and Moonlighting, and had a great time chilling with him on the set of Live Free or Die Hard, but the experience directing Cop Out, where Willis, who was only in it for a paycheck, was in full-blown prima donna mode and often verbally abused Smith or even outright refused to take direction, permanently soured Smith's respect for the man. He later claimed that a star as big as Willis had at least a little authority to act the way he did, but that he would never work with him again.
    • He also feels the same way about is former friend and mentor Harvey Weinstein. Especially after Weinstein's disrespectful behavior at the Red State premiere. He would eventually disown Weinstein completely after news broke of his sexual assault history.
  • Career Resurrection: He admitted that he started getting burned out on trying to make more commercial movies. He did Cop Out to see if he could mimic Steven Soderbergh's style of one small personal movie and one big studio movie. But starting with Red State he made a choice to push himself as a filmmaker and do something nobody was expecting him to do.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • Mocked and simulated; when a group of people announced they were going to picket his film Dogma at a theater near where he lives, Smith himself showed up and picketed the film too with a "Dogma is dogshit" sign. He ends up being filmed by a news crew as a protester, and the reporter recognized him.
    • He'll also be the first one to admit that his films lack visual panache, giving this as the reason why he has no interest in directing anything in the Marvel Cinematic Universe or DC Extended Universe despite his extensive comic fandom, preferring to stick to TV superheroes.
    • He was fairly overt with his disappointment with Zack and Miri Make a Porno, as it was supposed to be a movie that had a higher chance of success than his previous films. The critical reviews were mildly favorable, but he felt it was too predictable. This was, in part, the reason he turned into doing horror comedies to challenge himself.
  • Doing It for the Art: Though he tried for a while to alternate between mainstream and niche appeal, Smith generally prefers to work with small budgets that let him do whatever he wants and work to his own standards, anything to avoid bending to any superficial demand that would potentially make the process any less fun. These days, he only makes movies if and when he wants to, making what he refers to as "masterbatory" films created for the sole purpose of his own entertainment.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • His story of his time as a writer for Superman Reborn and the insane requests of producer Jon Peters, including Brainiac fighting a polar bear and having a robot sidekick speaking with a Camp Gay voice and Superman fighting a Giant Spider in the third act, not being allowed to fly and only wearing black.
    • Played straight and then subverted with Cop Out: It was originally entitled A Couple of Dicks, but the MPAA weren't cool with that. They were using A Couple of Cops as a placeholder, and one of the execs suggested that they use that. Smith said that it was a "cop out" to use that title, so the executive suggested that they use that. Smith thought this was brilliant, admitted that the executives were much smarter than he is, and then ran with that title. One suggestion for a sequel would be Rock Out With Your Cop Out.
    • Smith also stated that back when he was writing the Black Cat mini series, the Marvel Execs also offered to make him the official writer of Spider-Man on the condition that his first storyline would involve breaking up Peter and Mary Jane's marriage. Predicting the inevitable shit storm that would have resulted from that, Smith declined the gig.
    • Then there's his whole story about working for Prince, which cannot be properly summarized other than to hear it in its full, rambling glory.
  • Follow the Leader: While it was already pretty trendy in the '90s, his penchant for profane, sarcastic dialogue spoken by twentysomethings going through their quarter-life crisis gave way to a slew of copycats from Clerks onward, even helping to spawn the entire "mumblecore" sub-genre.
  • I Am Not Spock: Both Smith and Jason Mewes are pretty much forever linked with their characters. It doesn't help that Smith continually names their joint projects Jay and Silent Bob [verb phrase]
  • Name's the Same: Not to be confused with Kevin Smith from killer7. Or, for that matter, the late actor who played Ares or the retired running back from the NFL.
  • Old Shame: Subverted. He found the process of working on the Superman reboot frustrating but still a dream come true, even if it was never made (especially since he got to spend a lot of time in the Superman archives). And he found Jon Peters to be too (unintentionally) funny to really dislike. After all, it is one of the most famous stories he tells people.
    • He always manages to have a soft spot for his less successful movies because, as he put it, "Those were still four fuckin' years of my life, man!"
    • It seems that the one thing he's done that he isn't proud of is Cop Out, mostly due to his horrible experience with Bruce Willis.
      • His latest book clarifies that he's actually rather proud of everything in Cop Out except the parts with Bruce Willis, as everyone else on the cast and crew pulled together to yank a movie out of the asshole that is Bruce Willis.
    • While he stands by what he said about his time with Prince, he's admitted to feeling guilty about how it came across as derisive during his standup and that he never had a chance to apologize before the Purple One died.
    • After already having a bad falling out with Harvey Weinstein, Smith completely washed his hands of ever having been associated with him after news broke of his long history of sexual harassment, deciding to donate all of his future royalties from the films he'd made with Weinstein to female-directed productions.
  • One of Us: see Promoted Fanboy.
    • Also a troper.
  • Production Posse: If he's making a movie expect Jason Mewes, Ben Affleck, Jason Lee, Jeff Anderson or Brian O'Halloran to be on board, if not all of them. He's frequently written parts into his films for actress Betty Aberlin after working with her on Dogma because, like all boys his age, he fell in love with her during Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Behind the camera there's cinematographer Dave Klein who has shot all of Smith's films and producer/friend Scott Mosier who produced all of Smith's films up to Zack and Miri Make a Porno. James L. Venable was also briefly his go-to composer.
  • Promoted Fanboy: Pretty much the textbook case. He was a movie obsessed comic book nerd who went on to become a respected film director, screenwriter and comic book writer.
    • Smith was a collector of Degrassi episodes in the days before DVD, when only rich hobbyists could afford such things. Not only did he name a character in Clerks after Caitlin, but he admitted to laying down $8,000 to get the entire Degrassi catalog on tape.
    • In the DVD commentary for Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, he delights in the fact he had a lightsaber — er, bongsaber — duel with Mark Hamill. The Batman lifer has also scored an appearance as a playable mini-fig in LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham.
    • Despite the stress and grievances that it causes him, he was the first to admit that briefly getting to work with Prince was a dream come true.
    • Smith became a huge fan of The Flash (2014) and got in touch with the showrunners if he could be involved in any way, which got him the job of directing the penultimate season 2 episode before the two-part finale and joining the director rotation for season 3, along with directing episode for other DC CW shows.
    • The long-time Star Wars fan got to cameo in The Force Awakens, dubbing the stormtrooper who spots the X-wing fleet heading towards Maz's castle ("We have incoming at two-eight-point-six, move!") and getting his name in the famous blue-text credits crawl.
  • Schedule Slip: His comic book work is infamous for enormous gaps between issues and heavy delays.
  • Uncredited Role:
    • He wrote most of the dialogue for his part in Live Free or Die Hard. Said scene was also a lynchpin where the characters understand who the Big Bad was, production had shut down because both Bruce Willis (and the official writer) felt it was subpar and something more was needed. According to Smith, he rewrote the scene when he auditioned for the part, and the studio hired him because it was cheaper than giving him a writer's credit. Smith was credited for his acting, but not for his script edits.
    • Uncredited script doctor for Coyote Ugly and Overnight Delivery.
  • What Could Have Been:
  • Write What You Know: By default, pretty much everything Kevin writes either comes from personal experience or something he has a direct opinion on. He once joked about this by pantomiming ripping open his chest, pulling out his heart, plunking it down on a table and telling someone to "put that on film!" as a way of describing his early films.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Trivia/KevinSmith