As far as stoner road-trip movies go, Jay and Silent Bob Reboot has a particularly poignant backstory.
In February 2018, writer-director-star Kevin Smith suffered a heart attack after a standup comedy performance in Glendale, Calif. He was rushed to the hospital where he was told he had only a 20 percent chance of survival.
"In the moment I was like, 'I'm all right. I'm ready to go,'" Smith told Yahoo Entertainment (watch above). "And then I was seized with one regret, only one. I was like, 'If I die tonight, Yoga Hosers was the last movie I made. F**k. I was like, I can't die. I was like, 'Doc, you gotta save me. I gotta make Jay and Silent Bob Reboot.'"
The second installment in his "Great White North" horror trilogy, 2016's Yoga Hosers was one of the filmmaker's worst-received projects, with Rotten Tomatoes summarizing the film as "a particularly grating low point in Kevin Smith's once-promising career."
Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, a sequel/reboot to 2001's Jay and Silent Bob Strike, returns the actor-director and longtime costar Jason Mewes to the "View Askewniverse" that first launched their careers in Clerks (1994), Mallrats (1995) and Chasing Amy (1997).
And while, yes, on the surface Jay and Silent Bob Reboot qualifies as a stoner road-trip movie, with its titular knuckleheads once again on a jaunt to Hollywood to stop the production of another unauthorized movie about them, the film has deeper themes (most notably an estranged father subplot that is clearly a love letter to the director's own daughter and costar, Harley Quinn Smith) and comes with countless callbacks and cameos from Smith's Askewniverse.
"Post-heart attack I was like, 'This film has to be so much more than a goofy comedy,'" Smith explained. "'This has to stand for my entire life. Everything I've felt and thought. This movie actually has real heart and feelings to it … while making you laugh as well.
"So I felt like, 'This is meant to be my masterpiece. I'm gonna show everyone, 'This is everything I've learned. Not just in the 25 years of this business, but in the 49 years of my life at this point.'"
Jay and Silent Bob Reboot opens Oct. 15.
Watch Kevin Smith talk about Martin Scorsese's criticism of Marvel movies:
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