Here's our female lead, folks...
And we're happy (and lucky) to have her....
Double duty for Dawson
Thesp's got 'Passion' for the Weinsteins
By MICHAEL FLEMING
Rosario Dawson will star in the twin bill "Killshot" and "Passion of the Clerks" for the Weinstein Co.
Dawson, who'll next be seen in the Chris Columbus-directed screen adaptation of the Broadway musical "Rent," starts "Killshot" next month and will bounce from that film to "Passion of the Clerks," the sequel that was written and will be directed by Kevin Smith. Scott Mosier is producing.
Full Variety Article
There it is - which makes our "Clerks 2" leads: Brian O'Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Rosario Dawson, Trevor Fehrman, Jennifer Schwalbach, Jason Mewes, and Kevin Smith.
Rosario's pitch-perfect for this role, and wait 'til you see how she fits into the Askewniverse...
If you've never seen Spike Lee's "25th Hour", go watch it. It's a great film, and Rosario's fantastic in it.
When it reigns, it pours.
Holy crap, we've finally got our female lead! And she's awesome! I'll let you know who she is once the deal is finalized.
And after running into a long delay trying to secure the location, we're 85% locked in. If we sign the agreement by Friday, the schedule finally gets triggered: Ratface will start building, the remaining keys will be hired, and rehearsals will begin within weeks.
After almost a year since the opening of this thread, "Clerks 2" is fast becoming a reality.
Most of y'all may already know this from reading "My Boring-Ass Life", but just in case...
So production on "Clerks 2" has been pushed back to a September start, to allow me to head up to Vancouver this week for the two month and change "Catch & Release" shoot.
Beyond that, everything's locked-and-loaded with the flick. The budget's in place and the cast is almost locked. This move will probably pooch the idea of debuting at Sundance '06, but while that would've been a poetic move, as Mosier pointed out, it's not like it would've been a triumphant return or something: we'd already had that moment when we debuted "Chasing Amy" up there in '97, after the theatrical crash-and-burn of "Mallrats".
As per Scott...
"In '97, we had nothing to lose. Most folks had written us off after 'Rats', and didn't expect much out of 'Amy', so we were able to surprise them. Now? We wouldn't be regarded as underdogs. We'd be showing up with a flick for which there's already a bunch of expectation. We don't really need a film festival to launch this flick, as based on the amount of press we've gotten already, it seems like the media will wanna talk about it anyway. So missing Sundance might not be such a bad thing, really."
That being said, we're hoping for an early spring debut (I'd like to open in February/March, while kids are still in college), and a possible trip to Cannes in May (in the Director's Fortnight or Un Certain Regard categories, if not the International Critic's Week section, where "Clerks" had its Cannes debut), for our international launch.
Anyway, that's where we stand at the moment.
- Turned in the third draft, which came down 16 pages (following the reading). It's now a lean, funnily mean 103 pages. This will, no doubt, be the shooting draft.
- Looks like our "Clerks 2" deal is about to close, so we may be getting cash-flowed as early as next week. While all fees and back-end deals are normally pre-negotiated in our overall deal, this flick was an exception - based on the low, low budget, and the fact that Scott and I opted against receiving our contractual salaries and instead took a new back-end deal that rewards us if the movie performs well (if it doesn't, we did the movie, essentially, for nearly-free). Same with Jeff, Brian, and Mewes - while we're all taking home some cash up front, it's not nearly what they could've commanded to do the sequel to a proven flick. So, like Scott and I, they're all taking the risk, and sharing equally in any back-end payday.
Yes - I realize how very gay "back-end payday" sounds. That's why I was smiling when I wrote it.
- Yesterday, we did a reading of the script, with Brian, Jeff, Jay, Jen, me and the new guy, Trevor (our surprise, secret weapon). Fucking fantastic. The flick reads great. When Brian and Jeff got going in their back-and-forth, I got all sorts of non-sexual hard. Fuck, this is a funny flick, and those guys are in top shape.
Afterwards, me, Mos, Phil Benson, Jeff, Brian and Trevor did oral notes on the script, voting for cuts in the stuff that just lays there, suggesting tightening in some scenes, rearrangement in others. We were a story-telling collective, all working toward making something that already feels hillarious and special even moreso. I'm guessing the current 119 Second Draft of the script will go down by another five to ten pages in Draft Three.
I can't describe how fulfilling it is to hear the script performed and to watch Brian and Jeff bounce off one another. And Mewes? Top form. Tip-top form.
Wish I could bust with some of the best lines here, but don't wanna be a spoiler. I want you guys to go into this flick virgins, and leave debauched.
- Right now, we're scheduled to start shooting April 18th (though that date will probably move by a week or so).
- This week, we're having a reading of the script, with Brian, Jeff, Mewes and others. I'll let you know how it sounds.
- This isn't gonna be a cameo-heavy affair, a'la "Strike Back." The only returning characters are Dante and Randal, and Jay and Silent Bob.
- This isn't gonna be a star-studded affair. The biggest names in the cast are gonna be Brian O'Halloran, Jeff Anderson, and Jason Mewes.
- This isn't an "I'm not even supposed to be here today... AGAIN!"-heavy, wink-wink affair. We barely refer to the first flick (though I do love Lynch's proposed tagline of "They Still Don't Like You"; considering the tone of the script, an even more appropriate tagline would be "They Like You Even Less").
- Jay and Silent Bob have about as much screen time as they had in "Clerks." This is Dante and Randal's flick all the way.
- The title makes sense. Sure, there's a bit of cheekiness in there, but it's pretty appropriate, based on the material.
- This is the funniest thing I've ever written. It's also really poignant.
- We'll still be making a "Clerks" cartoon movie, separate of this.
- This is not a grab at the green. Saying so is kinda laughable, if you're privy to what I make per film now, vs. what I'll make for this film. Part of the idea about doing "Passion" is to strip away the trappings of success we've been enjoying for the last few years, in an effort to get to the raw and pure. None of us are making our usual salaries on this flick; we're all doing it favored-nations style, with deferments. If the flick does well, we'll get paid our full-freight on the back-end. If not, we did it for the love. But if I was "all about the green", I'd be gearing up for "Hornet" or "Fletch" instead. This one's about the passion; the passion of the "Clerks."
- Some of the key players from the "Clerks" saga who've already read the 143 page first draft: Mos, Jeff, Brian, John Pierson, Bob Hawk. Jay's reading the new, refined 119 page second draft this week. Once they were all on board, any doubt or hesitation I might've felt about monkeying with the original's legacy disappeared completely.
- This isn't about "Jersey Girl." While disappointed that we didn't do double the theatrical business we crawled to, I understand why what happened to that flick happened (considering how poorly "Gigli" did, I consider us kinda lucky that we got to 25m). If this is a reaction to anything, it's more of a reaction to "Green Hornet", and the trajectory my budgets have been taking lately. Before (and if) I direct "Hornet", I wanted to do something small and more me-like. While working on the "Clerks X" dvd, it became clear to me that "Passion" was the way to go.
- We almost did this flick three years ago, instead of "Strike Back." I'm glad we didn't, because I was able to say much more now than I would've then.
- There are gonna be lots of folks expressing disappointment or downright hostility with the idea of this movie. Let 'em vent. If it's all that bad, Xtian will just sweep it off the board. But the last thing I'm interested in is opinions on what I'm doing this early in the process, if at all. The beauty of making that first flick was being able to do it in a vacuum. Granted, I could've kept my mouth shut about it 'til we were done shooting; but with "Clerks X" coming out, it just felt right to share. Regardless - I don't want folks running here with reports of what's being said about the idea of this film at other boards. Don't waste your/my time with the braying of the jackasses. There's not even a movie to bray about yet. Once there is, if you still still feel the need to tell me what some random, knuckle-headed Talk Backer has to say about the finished product, then God bless. But until then, leave it in the locker room.
- Oh, who am I kidding? This flick makes me so happy, I'm not even bothered by the bitching (could still be even happier without it, though). I'm in love with this flick. If other folks aren't, I can't really say I'm concerned. I've read the script; they haven't. I have the benefit of insight into the flick beyond the title and the notion of it; they don't. The reaction is pretty much what I thought it'd be: a ton of positive, and minimal amount of bitching. Even if the equation was reversed, I'd still feel as good as I do now.
- At this point in my life, this flick makes absolute fucking sense.
- I can't wait to shoot it, and I can't wait 'til you all see it.
- That storyline about Dante and Randal shooting a movie about working at the Quick Stop is the plot of the "Clerks" CARTOON movie. It's secure. The plot of "PotC" is something completely different.
- The flick does NOT employ the tone of the "Clerks" cartoon. It's OG "Clerks" all the way.
- The flick's in both black & white and color.
- Having not seen "South Park" since season two (unless you count the movie), I was unaware they did an episode called "The Passion of the Jew." I don't know how (or if) this info will affect our title.
- There will be no "reunions" or "crossovers" in the flick. Again - the only characters returning are Dante, Randal, Jay, and Bob.
More info when the questions pile up...