‘Jay and Silent Bob Meet Michael Myers’? It Almost Happened
History is littered with tales of interesting movies that never quite got made. Orson Welles wanted to make Hearts of Darkness before he instead turned to the concept that became Citizen Kane. George Miller came really close to directing a Justice League years before Zack Snyder; it would have starred Armie Hammer and Adam Brody. Alejandro Jodorowsky’s epic vision of Dune, which was explored at length in the documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune, still fascinates fans to this day.
You do hear about these tantalizing what-ifs from time to time. In Kevin Smith’s new book Kevin Smith’s Secret Stash: The Definitive Visual History, he reveals one such project that I, at least, had never heard of before. It turns out that there was a time in the early 2000s where he and his producers at Dimension Films were considering making a horror comedy featuring his stalwart characters Jay and Silent Bob and a variety of movie monsters, including Halloween’s Michael Myers.
The idea came about during production of Smith’s 2001 film Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, which was full of Hollywood cameos (Ben Affleck and Matt Damon appear as themselves) and tons of meta in-jokes about moviemaking (they’re producing Good Will Hunting 2: Hunting Season). Smith says that Dimension chairman Bob Weinstein was a big fan of the old Hope and Crosby Road To movies and Abbott and Costello comedies, which were also littered with cameos and inside baseball humor. So Weinstein “kept trying to shape Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back in that direction.”
During post-production, he went even further. According to Smith, that’s when Weinstein pitched him an idea predicated on the notion that Abbott and Costello had had several hits later in their careers teaming with various Universal Monsters like Frankenstein and the Wolf Man.
“That’s what we have to do with Jay and Silent Bob,” Weinstein insisted.
“Dimension didn’t have the rights to the Universal Monsters,” Smith continues “but it did have Pinhead from Hellraiser, Michael Myers from Halloween, and the kids from Children of the Corn. So Bob wanted me to write a movie where Jay and Silent Bob meet all these monsters.”
Smith says he turned Weinstein down because he wanted to return to “the business of serious filmmaking” after Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. (His next movie turned out to be Jersey Girl, not a hit but certainly an attempt at a more serious style of filmmaking.) Smith later told Affleck about Bob Weinstein’s offer, and after they shared a laugh, Affleck told him “That movie would make $100 million. It’s so stupid it would absolutely f—ing work. You should think about doing it.”
But Smith didn’t listen. He did eventually revive the Jay and Silent Bob characters, though, first in 2006’s Clerks II, and then in 2019’s Jay and Silent Bob Reboot. (They will appear again in the upcoming Clerks III.) And Affleck’s assessment of the material sounds right; very stupid — but possibly very entertaining. And really, it could have done no harm to the Jay and Bob characters.
The Abbott and Costello movies certainly didn’t hurt the Universal Monsters, either. Tthose characters continued to get new films down through the decades. People loved laughing at Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein and then they were scared all over again in The Curse of Frankenstein. If you can honestly say you don’t want to live in a world where Jason Mewes told Pinhead “Snootchie bootchies!” you’re a better person than I.
Kevin Smith’s Secret Stash is on sale now. There are many more stories like this in there; it’s a pretty enlightening read for any Kevin Smith fan.