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Kevin Smith's new comedy: Zack and Miri Make a Porno

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Kevin Smith's new comedy: Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Old 06-07-07, 09:12 AM
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Kevin Smith's new comedy: Zack and Miri Make a Porno

After six little words, Harvey Weinstein is sold
By Jay A. Fernandez
Special to The Times

It's rarely a good idea to greenlight a movie off of a title alone (unless it includes the words "Pirates" and "Caribbean"). That's like falling in love with a MySpace photo.

But when Harvey Weinstein pulled the trigger on the latest raunchy comedy idea from "Dogma" and "Clerks II" writer-director Kevin Smith after Smith had written only six words of it, Weinstein's $15 million looked like a pretty good bet.

The title? "Zack and Miri Make a Porno."

For a certain stripe of moviegoer, that's a sure thing.

"A bawdy sex comedy with heart," as Smith describes the just-completed script, "Zack and Miri" 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. As for where it goes from there, just think of Smith's characteristic sexual verbosity finally coupled with matching imagery.

"It's dirty, with nudity," says Smith. "But funny nudity, not gratuitous nudity." Well, leave it to Smith to choose a plotline that kneecaps the issue entirely. (The civilians-making-a-blue-movie conceit also drove the narrative of writer-director Michael Traeger's "The Amateurs," which played festivals last year.) Because the story unfolds during a snowy Minnesota winter, Smith plans to film "Zack and Miri" there in February (although, Smith jokes, global warming may force him to shoot at one of the poles).

In the intervening months, Smith is publishing a book of reprinted blog entries from SilentBobSpeaks.com called "My Boring Ass Life." And he hopes to squeeze in filming of his low-budget ($3 million) horror script, "Red State," by the end of the year. Smith is aiming to give the politically charged screenplay, about outsiders who stumble into "fundamentalism gone to the extreme" in Middle America, a naturalistic, drive-in feel.

"Horror is more than a dude with a chain saw," says Smith, who engaged the Christian right promotional machine for the release of "Dogma." Given his rabid fan base, Smith is keeping the screenplay on lockdown at his Hollywood Hills home, so agents, actors and executives have needed a personal invitation to see it. Rosario Dawson, a "Clerks II" star, is supposed to give it a read this week.

After her vampy turns in "Sin City" and "Grindhouse," it sounds like a perfect trilogy.
Old 06-07-07, 09:50 AM
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I just hope he moves the camera in this one.
Old 06-07-07, 10:00 AM
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Cool, I'm glad he's still doing "Red State" - and having Rosario Dawson in it would be awesome.
Old 06-07-07, 11:53 AM
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Wow, another tired cannibalized plot from Kevin Smith. You know, I really used to love his films but as time passes the dialogue starts to grate on my nerves. He seems to only be able to write about 30-something slackers finding meaning through thinly-veiled homo-erotic hetero male exchanges. It gets old.
Old 06-07-07, 12:58 PM
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If this follows suit with his other works, it will be a good three years before we see these. If I recall, Jersey Girl was shot in about half a year but was edited for over a year.
Old 06-07-07, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr. DVD
If this follows suit with his other works, it will be a good three years before we see these. If I recall, Jersey Girl was shot in about half a year but was edited for over a year.
Jersey Girl was also pushed back to try to distance itself from Gigli. Which also resulted in a return to the editing room to trim Jennifer Lopez's part. So that may have something to do with your perception that it took an inordinate amount of time to reach theaters.

I don't think Smith takes any longer to complete a film than most other directors. On average, it's about two years from script to screen. Though, on occasion, Smith has discussed intended projects that don't, or haven't yet, come to fruition.

I like his movies, but I don't see this as such an original idea that would warrant Harvey being blown away by the pitch.
Old 06-07-07, 01:13 PM
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Wasn't there a Comedy Central movie with pretty much the same plot, only college students instead of 30-somethings?
Old 06-07-07, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by mijorico

I like his movies, but I don't see this as such an original idea that would warrant Harvey being blown away by the pitch.
The pitch doesn't matter. It is who is pitching it. A Smith film with a $15 million budget will earn that back opening weekend. Everything else is gravy. Overseas, multiple DVD releases, etc. People may not like his movies, but he is guaranteed money in the bank.
Old 06-07-07, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael Corvin
The pitch doesn't matter. It is who is pitching it. A Smith film with a $15 million budget will earn that back opening weekend. Everything else is gravy. Overseas, multiple DVD releases, etc. People may not like his movies, but he is guaranteed money in the bank.
Yep and that is why he balked at doing Green Hornet. Big budget equals high degree of failure. He can make all the realtively cheap movies he wants because of his built-in fanbase.

I still like the guys stuff, just don't love it anymore.
Old 06-07-07, 02:01 PM
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I don't care what you all have to say, I've enjoyed every one of his movies (with the slight exception of Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back) and I am really looking forward to this!
Old 06-07-07, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael Corvin
The pitch doesn't matter. It is who is pitching it. A Smith film with a $15 million budget will earn that back opening weekend. Everything else is gravy. Overseas, multiple DVD releases, etc. People may not like his movies, but he is guaranteed money in the bank.
I understand that, and I'm a fan of Smith's.

The only reason I made that comment was because the article made it sound like the movie was given the go-ahead because it was such an original idea with such a great title. If it had been a no-name writer, maybe that would've been the case. But, as you said, the movie is getting made because Smith keeps production costs down and turns a profit.

I have no doubt he can pull off this type of comedy, because (aside from the nudity) he's done it before. I'm just saying, I don't see this story selling based on the title. Because, in my opinion, it doesn't exactly blow you away (no pun intended). It does the job, but I don't see it as anything special.
Old 06-07-07, 03:22 PM
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I will say that while a lot of entertainment writers love to look at Smith's domestic gross and bash the film, he is a bread winner in the long run.
Old 06-07-07, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by mijorico
The only reason I made that comment was because the article made it sound like the movie was given the go-ahead because it was such an original idea with such a great title. If it had been a no-name writer, maybe that would've been the case. But, as you said, the movie is getting made because Smith keeps production costs down and turns a profit.
I'm guessing in that pitch there were probably some really, really good plot points that sold it as well.

I'm in for this film no question. I'd rather have Smith continue to do films he enjoys...as it definitely shows that he has a blast making them.
Old 06-08-07, 01:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
Wasn't there a Comedy Central movie with pretty much the same plot, only college students instead of 30-somethings?
The only thing I can think of is "The Girl Next Door" - which is an awesome movie. But that's only aired on FX or USA or something. I never saw it on Comedy Central.
Old 06-08-07, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
Wasn't there a Comedy Central movie with pretty much the same plot, only college students instead of 30-somethings?
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0331321/ ?
Old 06-08-07, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by troystiffler
The only thing I can think of is "The Girl Next Door" - which is an awesome movie. But that's only aired on FX or USA or something. I never saw it on Comedy Central.
I believe the one he's referring to is Porn 'n Chicken which was Comedy Central's first original movie.
Old 06-08-07, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by mijorico

I have no doubt he can pull off this type of comedy, because (aside from the nudity) he's done it before.
Joey Lauren Adams - Mallrats

Brief, but it's there.
Old 06-08-07, 09:18 AM
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Sounds like Romy and Michele high school reunion
Old 06-08-07, 10:08 AM
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Sometimes I think that Kevin Smith is hated more than George Lucas.
Old 06-08-07, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Michael Corvin
Joey Lauren Adams - Mallrats

Brief, but it's there.
Also, that chick who replaced Susanne Sommers on "Three's Company".
Old 06-08-07, 10:45 AM
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Sounds cliche'd and formulaic... but this is Kevin Smith afterall.

Does KS have anything original or important to say? Does he not have any desire to elevate himself above this juvenille stuff?
Old 06-08-07, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Michael Corvin
Joey Lauren Adams - Mallrats

Brief, but it's there.
I remembered that.

I just mean nudity in this context. He's never filmed sex scenes.
Old 06-08-07, 11:02 AM
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sounds like it will be a hit. i'm sure i will check it out. should be interesting to see who all stars in this.
Old 07-19-07, 10:41 PM
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Kevin Smith Wants Rosario To Make A Porno

Speaking with MTV, Kevin Smith tells them that his upcoming comedy, "Zack and Miri Make a Porno", has a place in it for his former leading lady, Rosario Dawson.

"I wrote [the role of Miri] for Rosario Dawson.....I'd be kind of flabbergasted if she didn't do it." Said Smith during his chat, and also spilled some details on his other upcoming project, the horror film "Red State", which he says isn't like the "Hostel" flicks of the world, but is more akin to "The Shining".


MOVIEHOLE.net
Old 07-20-07, 09:23 AM
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I wonder if Zack Braff will play Zack. It was rumored he wanted him for Fletch.

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