Comic book guru and filmmaker Kevin Smith is happy to continue on directing superhero TV fare like The Flash and Supergirl, but he has no interest in tackling a big screen production.
“Greg Berlanti will not f—ing stop making these amazing comic book TV shows. Yeah, I owe him a great debt of thanks, because he put those shows together with his creative teams and whatnot and their casts, and they have allowed me those shows — and Greg and his team and himself — have allowed me to go into a world that I never really had much of interest in going into,” Smith told MTV.
“I love comic book movies, comic book properties, I love watching them — not picking them apart, but celebrating them and stuff like that, love anticipating the next one — but making those things? Whenever you see those behind the scenes, they’re like, [dazed look] ‘We’re on day 200 of Spider-Man.’ And you’re like, ‘Who the f—k can do anything 200 times in a row, let alone Spider-Man?’ So it takes a lot more energy and attention and talent, most importantly, than I have.”
Smith, who got his start helming dialogue-heavy slices-of-life with wordy characters, prefers “doing stuff where the characters talk about those movies, that’s what I’ve been doing for years.”
“So I like going to Flash and Supergirl, because I then get to play in that world. You get to play with kids wearing colorful costumes, having ridiculous powers, and showing off incredible feats of strength,” Smith said.
“But I love those shows mores than the comic book movies that they do because on TV you get to pull the taffy a lot longer, you get to fall in love with the cast of characters and know everything about them and whatnot, dive deep into their lives.”
The fan-favorite filmmaker once flirted with scripting Superman Lives — a nearly-made Superman franchise revival that would have starred Nicolas Cage under the steering of Batman director Tim Burton — but said he’ll leave the big screen outings to filmmakers like Avengers: Infinity War directors Anthony and Joe Russo.
“So people always ask me, ‘Don’t you want to make a comic book movie?’ and I’m like, ‘Nah, I’m not talented enough to do that.’ Russo brothers, they can do that in their sleep — they know what to do and stuff. I’m not,” Smith said. “I’m the guy that likes to watch that stuff, but I don’t have the patience or the ability to sit through one of those things making it, and I don’t know it would turn out very well if I did.”
Despite his well-noted fandom and expertise of the comic book world — he’s penned comic book tales for Batman, Daredevil, Green Arrow, and Spider-Man — Smith explained a love of the material doesn’t necessitate an ability to handle that material well.
“A lot of people are like, ‘You love this comic book stuff!’ Just ‘cause you love something doesn’t mean that you’re gonna be great at it. Sometimes, particularly in the field of comic book movies, it’s been interesting to watch people who are not from the genre, who don’t touch the material, suddenly interpret it,” he said.
“We saw that with Tim Burton, one of the greatest comic book movies of all time. 1989 Batman, Tim Burton very famously talks about like, ‘I don’t read comic books.’ Bryan Singer when he made the X-Men, he was not a comic book guy either. So there’s something to be said for like grabbing people from outside the medium who have a passing familiarity with it, not somebody who has so much invested in the game where I’m like, ‘Well, Thanos would never do that.’ And they’re like, ‘Well, maybe not on the page, but we’re making a movie here.’ I’m like, ‘Well, f—k that.’ So I like watching them, but making them is not for me.”
“Closest I get is when I jump into Berlanti land,” Smith added of the producer and overseer of the CW family of DC Comics shows.2comments
“That’s fun ‘cause it’s nine days in and out. And also, when you make one of them big comic book movies, you have a chance to disappoint so many f—ing people, so many people. And I disappoint people on a regular basis with my own sh-t. So to take something everybody knows and suddenly disappoint them with that, who needs it? If I do a Flash or Supergirl [episode], if it sucks, just wait a week, another one’s coming and I’m sure it’ll be great.”
Smith pulled double duty in a directing-slash-acting role on the recently-dropped Hollyweed, a series he dubs “Clerks in a weed store.” Its pilot is available for free on YouTube.