For the past few months, Kevin Smith has been hinting at a project he is working on that he isn’t yet allowed to fully discuss. However, Smith did share more about the project on the latest episode of Fatman Beyond (231) with cohost Marc Bernardin.
“I’m working on this thing right now, this thing I’ve been talking about that looks like it might happen, this big project,” said Smith. “And people thought it was a movie but it’s a series.”
Smith opened up about the series during the Q&A section of the podcast when Nick, and audience member who had previously proposed to his wife on the show Comic Book Men, asked the hosts what has been the most challenging and most rewarding parts of their creative careers.
Smith explained that in the past, working with executives in creating projects that weren’t his intellectual property was the worst part. And now, because of this series he has been working on, that same process has become the most rewarding part.
“Normally in that processes when you get notes, you want to bang your head against the wall, and then you have to decide how invested you are,” said Smith. “Like when it’s my stuff and I’m fully invested, I’ll go down swinging to keep it what it should be.”
He expounded that as a writer on a project that isn’t your intellectual property, there is an internal measure of how much to push for the right pieces of the story and challenge the studio.
“So you have to do this weird dance that weird dance of like, How much do I care?” said Smith. “Because if you care too much, then you wind up getting into fights with the people who are paying you.”
However, this big project has changed how he feels about working creatively with studios.
“This thing that I’ve been working on lately though, hands down has been so much fun dealing with the studio aspect of it – the people that give me notes, the development team on it.”
Smith told the audience that he now looks forward to going in to the notes sessions and with every meeting, the project has improved. Opening up about the notes sessions, Smith sang praises about the team he is working with.
“But this team that I’m working with, the four individuals at this company, are so gifted and creative,” said Smith. “I’m not used to that.”
Smith pointed out that aside from his work on the Supergirl and Flash TV series, he hasn’t been in a creative studio environment for more than ten years.
“When I used to deal with suits, they weren’t creative in the least,” said Smith. “Apparently [in the time he hasn’t been writing with studios] what they did was started hiring writers to be the executives. So it’s not just like some fucking suit who went to law school… It’s people who know how to tell stories. It’s like hanging out with him [gesturing to Bernardin]. Where you pitch an idea and he’s like, Or you could this. And suddenly it gets better.”
The series has ignited a creative fire for Smith noting, “I’m probably being more creative doing this thing than I’ve been in a long fucking time.”
And while the intellectual property in which Smith is dabbling is currently unknown to the public, it’s something that he is very passionate about and will have mass appeal.
“Even though it’s not my material I’m telling the story with, I go at it the same way I go at it with my shit,” said Smith. “I’m here to please me. It’s a very masturbatory process. If I’m happy, I assume others will be too. Maybe not the whole fucking world. Although the thing I’m working on, is very much for the whole world.”
Apparently, the development team had Smith in mind specifically for this series. Smith shared that a note he received from the last pass of the script asked if he could make it more “Kevin Smith.”
“I was like, Yes. Oh my god, yes!” said Smith. “That fucking blew me away. Particularly because it’s [the intellectual property] not something that you would ever associate with Kevin Smith.”
Since the beginning of his film career, Smith is well known for his particular style of character dialogue. Seemingly, this was a driving force for the series’ development team to seek him out.
“Throughout this process, they’ve been like, It should sound more like Dante, when he’s like, I’m not even supposed to be here today,” said Smith.
At first, Smith thought the team was just using references that he would relate to, not that they really wanted his creatively unique dialogue. He explained how the team qualified what they wanted.
“And they’re like, No,” said Smith. “That’s why we came toward you in the first place. We like what you do. We just want to harness that engine for this.”
Smith explained that while the ambiguity of the project may seem baffling, there will come clarity to it all.
“One day I’ll get to tell you what it is, and it’ll all make sense.”