Kevin Smith recently confirmed what the rest
of us already knew- the man has removed himself from involvement with two films he had previously been working on - a
sequel/prequel to Chevy Chase's Fletch movies (based
originally on novels) and the comic book film Green Hornet.
Smith acknowledged that he has an unfortunate habit of annoucing projects and not always delivering, but he offers some
explanation for his recent mishaps. Everyone knows the Kevin Smith versus Harvey Weinstein battle over the role of Fletch, as Smith has
spent five years trying to sell the studio on Jason Lee. Smith
thought that Lee's recent rise to stardom on the back of his television program My Name is Earl might lend weight to his long time argument that
Lee was an underappricated talent, but no dice. Smith's removal from this project has been widely understood for awhile
now, you can check out an early
rumor watch covered right here at Cinematical from when the story started breaking.
As for the Green Hornet, Smith dropped it when he realised what most of America was already rather certain of - the man can't/doesn't direct action. Smith's own description of a Green Hornet directed by him is "Green Hornet and Kato leaning against the Black Beauty -- the amazing supercar and home arsenal that can do almost anything and just leaning against it talking about sex....' And Kato'd be like 'I think there's some trouble over there.' And Green Hornet's like, 'Yeah, let's check it out.' They both just walk off camera. We still hold on the car. Then from off camera you hear [He mimics the sounds of a comic fight]. Then they walk back in and dust themselves off." Funny? Yes. Super Hero movie gold? Probably not. Smith did, however, complete a script that he says he was very pleased with, and handed it in - but he has no idea what, if anything, will become of it.
I think these were probably wise career moves on the part of Kevin Smith. Okay, I'm certain the Green Hornet decision was; he may have been able to pull off a decent Fletch film, but frankly I don't think a new installment in that franchise is necessary to begin with. Smith has learned the hard way that he is a niche director, and for now, at least, he seems to be sticking to that. Don't get me wrong, I'm not insulting the man - in fact, I think I'm among the short list of media journalists who really dig the dude's work - I just think he has wisely realized that his talents are best suited towards a particular style of film.