[UPDATE: The Mars Attacks portion of this story was part of an elaborate April Fools' Day joke by IDW and Topps to draw attention to the forthcoming Mars Attacks comics. Clerks 3 is still hoping to go ahead.]
When IDW Publishing announced just hours ago that they had teamed with Topps to produce a Broadway play based on Mars Attacks, they were–surprisingly–the second big name in comics to announce such a project in less than a day. In addition to recent reports that Daniel Corey’s Moriarty was going to be turned into a stage musical on the West Coast, director and comic book writer Kevin Smith announced at a speaking engagement that he’s interested in reviving his Clerks film franchise as a limited engagement Broadway play.
On Mars Attacks, IDW’s press release says the play–titled Mars Attacks: 21st Century Slaughter–will be written and produced by John Layman, the creator of Chew for Image Comics and writer of the upcoming Mars Attacks comic book from IDW. Like Moriarty, that show will be a musical.
“Ever since I saw The Sound of Music as a youngster living in New York I have dreamed of a career on Broadway, and I’m very excited to be branching out into theatre,” Layman said in the press release. “My approach to Mars Attacks on stage is sort of a science fiction version of West Side Story: a human and a Martian involved in a star-crossed romance, set against the backdrop of a violent interstellar war—with all of humanity caught in between! It’s going to be a rollicking good time, with songs that will make you want to get up and dance!”
One show that won’t feature music will be Kevin Smith’s Clerks 3. “I’m not going to do a musical,” Smith told an audience at a Barnes & Noble during his book tour. He explained that the first film was shot very much like a play, as Smith had no experience with feature filmmaking but had been in plays in high school. While Brian O’Halloran, one of the original film’s two leads (and the undisputed lead in its 2006 sequel), acts mostly on stage and so Smith doesn’t anticipate any difficult convincing him to participate, his co-star Jeff Anderson is, according to Smith, skeptical. Smith says that convincing Anderson–necessary to make the show work–will be the hurdle but that he’s committed to the idea if and when he can cast his Randal Graves.