I don’t know why I’m getting excited for Mallrats 2. I do like much of the original, but it’s not enough that I’ve been wanting the sequel to happen. Especially after hating Clerks II so much. But Kevin Smith is doing a great job of teasing this thing out and capitalizing on the nostalgia of the 20-year-old comedy. Which bombed when it was released.
The first hint of the movie, with a tweet about the filmmaker smelling “a rat,” was a perfect nibble. Then Smith tweeted a photo of himself with three returning cast members ‐ Jason Mewes, Michael Rooker and Stan Lee. Since then he’s been dropping the casting reveals one at a time. First with Shannen Doherty, and now with Jason Lee.
Lee’s photo is solo, no hug for Smith this time, but he’s giving the same sign of two fingers to let us know this is another Mallrats 2 confirmation. He’s also holding a chocolate pretzel, a special and nasty callback to a part of the original. Maybe he even went for the unnecessary stink palm ahead of taking the photo, for his own sake in getting back into character.
So, Brodie is back, and with the return comes a big question: is he still a talk show host? That’s honestly more important a reveal than whether or not he and Doherty’s character are still together ‐ we do know at least that they had a kid named Banner (their last name is Banner). Maybe they’ll say he was only host of The Tonight Show for a year, a la Conan O’Brien.
Mallrats was an important movie for Lee, a breakout gig that brought the skater onto the big screen, even if the thing didn’t seem favorable upon its initial release. He recently told the Huffington Post of how upset he was to see the movie fail at the box office. “Mallrats was the biggest letdown, he said. “It was, ‘Mom, I’m in a movie, can you believe it? Do you know how many people are going to see this and laugh and have so much fun?’ [And then] crickets.”
Smith’s tweet of the Lee photo reminds us that there are six more confirmations to go. Maybe we’ll let a few of them come out before posting again, as these casting reports could get a little old. You don’t need breaking news of Ethan Suplee’s confirmation, for instance. But whenever it happens that Ben Affleck is announced to return, if he is ‐ and he should at least do a cameo if anything ‐ then obviously that’s going to be important.