For the first time since 2016's Yoga Hosers, Kevin Smith recently revealed that he is writing a new film that, from all apperances, will not take place in the "View Askewniverse" of movies like Clerks, Mallrats, and Dogma. At the time, Smith gave scant few details, but he opened up a bit more on the latest episode of Fatman Beyond, revealing that the movie is a period piece, set in the 1980s. This will be the first time Smith has attempted a period piece, with his directorial efforts thus far being comedies and TV shows set in the present day.
Smith admitted that one of the challenges of writing something set in the past is resisting the urge to make too many meta jokes that contrast the present of the film with the present of the world in which the film is being written. He also said he had been watching some coming-of-age movies to get in the right mindset, specifically praising 2013's The Way Way Back.
"I've been enjoying spending time in 1986, which — I always think I have a really good memory of the past, but now I'm like, I'm very far removed from that period, and so I've been doing a lot of deep diving by listening to music of the era," Smith said, adding, "...which to be fair, that's really the only music I ever listened to anyway."
He also laid out some teases about the movie's structure, comparing it to some of his earliest writing.
"It's been a wild ride," Smith said. "It doesn't have a plot, it just meanders. It reminds me of some shit that I used to write before I got formalized to be like, 'There's three acts, blah blah blah.' It reminds me more of, for lack of a better description, Clerks has very little structure to it. It just kind of starts and then stops. This kind of does the same thing; there's no big thrust, there's no big 'This is the plot.' It's more of a day in the life, a snapshot kind of thing."
You can see the podcast below, with the news on the new film showing up at around the 19 minute point.
"When I start a new script, I'm like, 'Oh my god, what are the possibilities here?' Like, 'What's gonna happen?' Never mind the ones you get paid to write, you know what's gonna happen there, because generally there's an outline, but the thing that you write for you, man." He added, "Every day is a goddamn adventure, it's electric, where you're discovering this thing, the story, and finding nuances, and falling in love with it hardcore. And it's this weird romance that you know will come to an end. Like it's intense, it burns f*cking hot as hell, but then at the end of it all, you will be done with the screenwriting and it will become something else, if you're lucky. So I'm in that period." Smith added, "Every once in a while I remember how wonderful it is to be a writer."
Don't be surprised to hear more about Smith's next project in the weeks to come, especially with the filmmaker set to make an appearance at Comic Con International in San Diego next month.