Ever since the mishandling of the Clerks cartoon series by ABC, Kevin Smith has talked about ta feature length version of the show that would possibly be released direct-to-video. In 2003 he even had animation studio Powerhouse do a short test to see if the film, titled Clerks: Sell Out, could be reasonably done in Flash, the computer format used for online animation and video. You can see their test clip, which uses some familiar material, below.
Unfortunately, when the animated series executive producers Harvey and Bob Weinstein split from Disney, who own the rights to the show, to form the Weinstein Company, there was little love lost between the two entities and so the future of any kind of animated Clerks project was put in question. Smith stayed optimistic, though, and as recently as 2007 had stated that there would definitely be some sort of cartoon featuring characters from his movie at some point.
But perhaps because it is one of those things that has always been talked about but nothing concrete ever happens, everyone just glossed over a small part of the announcement of Smith’s Smodcast Pictures teaming with distributor Phase 4 that stated-
A division of SModCo, SModcast Pictures covers the visual spectrum of S.I.R. and SModcast.com. Their forthcoming releases include the unscripted series Comic Book Men for AMC, and Jay And Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie, a blend of live action footage and R-rated animation.
Smith elaborated on that tidbit on Thursday during his theatrical simulcast Kevin Smith: Live From Behind. When asked about the cartoon film Smith stated that he is hoping to have the film ready to part of the Midnight Madness programming track at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival this September.
Of late, Smith’s career has been a bit all over the map. He has the financial security of a loyal fanbase to experiment with things outside of the traditional Hollywood structure as his distribution of his last film Red State and the creation of his podcast network. So that kind of maverick attitude leads me to wonder if Jay And Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie might not be a straightforward adventure featuring Smith and Jason Mewes’s loveable stoner characters but may be some sort of anthology featuring short films by a number of different animators with the characters of Jay and Silent Bob hosting. Think of it as a variant on the old Spike & Mike or Tournament Of Animation programs that toured college campuses in the 1980s and 1990s. Just speculating here, but a move like this wouldn’t surprise me. But what ever shape Jay And Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie does take, I will be different from whatever Smith had in mind originally for Clerks: Sell Out.