After years of trying to get a sequel to his 1995 film Mallrats off the ground, Kevin Smith said today on WWMR-FM Philadelphia that Mallrats 2 is officially in development as a 10-episode scripted television series. What’s more, the Yoga Hosers and Clerks director revealed that he’s also developed a TV series based on cult 1980s film The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension in partnership with MGM, which has just been sold to an unnamed content provider.
Explaining the long process of trying to make a sequel to Mallrats, which included at one point attempting to get the rights back from distributor Universal Pictures, Smith said his experience directing a recent episode of the CW’s The Flash convinced him that television was the medium for it. After what he called “a protracted negotiation,” things came together. “Universal and I are just about to close our deal to do Mallrats the series,” he told WMMR. “Then we take it out into the world to find a home for it. So instead of doing a Mallrats movie, I’m going to do 10 episodes of a Mallrats series.”
A flop when in its initial release, Smith has long wanted to make a sequel to the film set in a New Jersey mall and following a group of slackers and employees who frequent it. Notably, Mallrats is also set in the same universe as Clerks, Chasing Amy, Dogma, and Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back.
Meanwhile, Buckaroo Banzai the series has been in the works for a bit longer. Following his episode of The Flash, says Smith, MGM contacted him about adapting the 1984 film starring Peter Weller as the multi-talented Dr. Buckaroo Banzai, a physicist, neurosurgeon, test pilot and rock musician who saves the world from inter-dimensional aliens. “I can’t say to whom yet, but yesterday we sold Buckaroo Banzai as a TV series.”
Buckaroo Banzai was a flop upon release but became a staple of cable and home video and now is considered a touchstone of ’80s genre films, with numerous writers and directors citing it as a large early influence. One notable homage to the film was included in Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. Along with Weller, the film featured appearances by John Lithgow, Ellen Barkin, Clancy Brown, Jeff Goldblum, Christopher Lloyd, and Dan Hedaya among others.
Deadline has reached out to both Universal and MGM for comment.