This Film is NOT a Future Release.
The Following Preview has been Archived.
May 5th, 2008:
A bawdy sex comedy with heart, "Zack and Miri Make a Porno" is about two friends who have managed to trudge into their 30s with a satisfying lack of accomplishment. But a 15-year high school reunion and dire rent problems spark the novel moneymaking idea of pulling together an amateur porn enterprise.What to Expect: Kevin Smith
is easily one of my favorite movie makers out there. A lot of his critics charge that he is nothing more than a foul-mouthed miscreant, a title he would no doubt gladly accept. However, beyond his foul-mouthed, raunchy style lays tremendous heart and uncanny wit. The unique combination of Rated R humor and happy resolution has won him millions of fans, with yours truly included. His movies, with the notable exception of "Jersey Girl," have become instant cult classics to be quoted and enjoyed over and over again. That is why the mere announcement of his next project "Zack and Miri Make a Porno" was already enough for me to make my decision to go see it the day it hits the theaters, but both my job and natural curiosity required that I find out more about this film other than the title. As I researched, I quickly realized that this might be one of, if not the best, Kevin Smith movies ever, which is no small feat considering how great "Clerks" was. Yet, this movie just has that right mix of cast, script and director to be truly great. Article continues below
There have been a lot of rumors and buzz surrounding this project going back as far as 2005 when the first headlines read "Harvey Weinstein green lights new movie on title alone." I was of course a little skeptical when I heard this, but it actually turns out to be one hundred percent accurate. It all went down when Weinstein and Smith were at a pre-production meeting for Clerks II. Weinstein had asked Smith what his next project was and Smith replied "Zack and Miri Make a Porno." Weinstein instantly said "I am making this movie.
" Smith, both shocked and amused, asked "Don't you want to know what it is about?,
" to which Weinstein replied, "The title says it all.
" Keep in mind that at this point Smith really had no script or any kind of concept. However, the fact remains that Weinstein is one of the savviest execs in Hollywood and realized that anything that Smith touches will turn a profit on a modest investment. So "Porno" was now officially a go, but for the time being, Smith had to return to making "Clerks II
After shooting had wrapped up, Smith got his chance to get some badly needed couch time and catch up on all the movies that he had missed. Coincidently around the same time "40 Year Old Virgin" had just been released to DVD, Smith, being the creator of many R-rated comedies himself, naturally made it one of his first choices. In "40 Year Old Virgin," he not only found a good comedy but also his Zack, in "Virgin's" supporting cast member, Seth Rogen
. The thing that really sold Smith on Rogen was the one scene where Rogen's character is playing video games with Paul Rudd
's character and Rogen says "I'm ripping your head off right now. It's off and now I'm throwing it at your body. F*** you!
" It was the delivery of that F bomb that truly sold Smith, he just sat there and just watched the scene over and over again. Later in the week he had another meeting with Weinstein to discuss the release of the now finished "Clerks II." "Porno" once again was brought up and Smith told Weinstein about how he wanted to cast the guy from 'Virgin' as Zack. Weinstein naturally assumed he wanted Steve Carell who was the break out star from "Virgin," and was extremely surprised to learn that Smith actually wanted Rogen, who was really just known as one of the other guys from "Virgin." That was an extremely fortunate coincidence because Weinstein was actually meeting with Rogen about a small part in "Fanboys
" and arranged a meeting between the two. At the meeting, Rogen had told Smith that he was a huge fan and would love to be Zack in his new movie. Smith was super excited by the positive response he received and even asked his new "man crush" on their first date, a private screening of "Clerks II." Yet, when Smith got home he felt a little embarrassed by his gushing and never contacted Rogen. With the male part set all he needed was a Miri, which he thought would have been great for his "Clerk's" female lead Rosario Dawson
. When "Clerks" II had wrapped up, Dawson had told him "Hey man, whatever you're doing, I want to do.
" Now with his two leads set, Smith sat down to finally write his script for "Porno" which he had incidentally told Weinstein was already complete.
The script turned out very unique for Smith for three reasons. First, it is not set in View Askewniverse. If you are not familiar with View, it is a universe he created that encompasses the area in and around his home town of Red Bank, NJ, and is the home to legendary Smith creations Jay and Silent Bob. The setting and characters have been used in all of his movies, with the exception of his huge flop, "Jersey Girl." The second difference is, despite the tremendous amount of sexual references that characterize his movies, you never actually get to see anything more than a kiss, but in this one, there is actually going to be some skin! The final major difference about this movie is that we know very little about the script. Usually, Smith releases huge amounts of pictures and information about his movies through his blog and other news outlets, but on this one, he took a very different approach, giving out very few details because, as he put it, "I want folks to discover the flick for themselves, instead of me jamming it down their throats.
All we know so far is that the story takes place in Pittsburg instead of NJ and centers on two slacker friends, Zack and Miri, who have managed to make it into their 30's with a satisfying lack of accomplishment, until money problems shock them out of their daze. With a fifteen year high school reunion coming up, they decide to make some money by starting an amateur porn enterprise with some of their other less accomplished high school graduates. They reason that they could sell the video to some of their other returning alumni because "who wouldn't want to see someone they graduated with in a porno?" They decide to star in the X-rated flick themselves and hire even more needy people to do some of the raunchier stuff. However, as they begin creating their little porn they soon begin to realize two things: One, is that their plutonic friendship is not as plutonic as they had thought and the second is that they really need to get their lives together. As you can see, despite the differences I mentioned earlier, this is still a very characteristic Smith movie: Slackers who are cruising through life are shocked into realization by some event and must now change their lives and seize the true love that was in front of them all along.
With the script ready to go, the green light, and the ready cast, it seemed like it was smooth sailing for Smith, but as usual, nothing in Hollywood is as simple as it seems. First, it was now 2006 and Rogen's "Knocked Up
" was the surprise comedy hit of the year. Smith was sure that Rogen would no longer want to do "Porno" now that he was a big star. The self deprecating Smith for some silly reason thinks that stars only want to work with him if they knew him before they were stars, but he decided to contact Rogen anyway by way of email. To his surprise, Rogen instantly replied saying that he would not only be honored to still do the movie, but that his stated goal when he moved to LA was to be in one of his movies; all this without even reading the script. A few weeks later, Rogen came over to Smith's house for a barbeque and some notes. The two comedians got along famously which is easy to see considering they are both stoner, overweight comedians who love comics and video games. They tentatively agreed to start filming the movie in late 2007 or early 2008. Yet around the same time, Rosario Dawson came back to Smith and reneged on her verbal commitment to do the movie, choosing instead to work on the Steven Spielberg-produced "Eagle Eye
." In essence, she passed up on the opportunity to work with Rogen and Smith to be the fourth or fifth name down the list in the cast of "Eagle Eye." I guess she had that "been there done that" attitude having starred in Smith's "Clerks II" and Tarantino's "Grindhouse" in the last two years. Smith, although disappointed about losing his star, was as usual overly nice. He just blamed himself for "his poor timing
" and saying that she made "the right career move.
" Rosario's loss quickly became someone else's gain, because now Smith started looking for a new female lead. He was handed a list of women in alphabetical order. The ever lazy Smith quickly settled on the first person on the list, the lead from "40 Year Old Virgin," Elizabeth Banks
. Well, Banks offered a lot more than just being first on the list. Smith felt that she could deliver his curse-ridden dialogue but still be very charming and nice. Her familiarity with Rogen from "Virgin" also helped. Rogen for his part, was eager to work Banks again.
With both leads set, Smith turned to his inner circle to get some of his supporting cast. He first cast Jason Mewes
(Jay as in Jay and Silent Bob) and Jeffrey Allan Anderson
(Randall from Clerks). He then double dipped into Judd Apatow's stable some more and cast Craig T. Robinson
(The Office) who worked with both Banks and Rogen on "Knocked Up." Smith even cast a real porn star, Traci Lords
(Serial Mom, Blade), who before launching a successful movie career as a C actress made headlines when she did porno movies and appeared in Penthouse as a teenager. Another notable casting is NJ comedian Jim Norton of the Opie and Anthony show. Finally, Smith who is probably the most fan accessible director out there, actually cast fans as extras for a few scenes. As you can see, the cast ended up extremely small and very familiar with each other, which is just the way Smith likes it.In Conclusion:
As you can see, this movie is shaping up to be another Kevin Smith classic. If you are a fan of his other movies, then enough said. If you have never seen any of his movies, then I urge you to go out and rent "Clerks" because "Porno" is sure to be more "Clerks" than "Jersey Girl."Similar Titles: Clerks
, The 40 Year Old Virgin