Kevin Smith has written a new movie and it is set to start filming sometime in January in Pittsburgh, where he previously filmed Dogma. I am a die-hard Kevin Smith fan as are many people, and my expectations for Zack and Miri Make A Porno are through the roof.
Smith has signed on Seth Rogen to play Zack and Elizabeth Banks to play Miri. Smith couldn't ask for a better situation than this one. Rogen is absolutely on the top of his game right now and he will bring a level of heat and marketability (not to mention the potentially hilarious performance) to this Smith vehicle unlike anything that Smith has ever seen for any of his movies in his entire career.
Of course, Smith had Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez on board for Jersey Girl. There were no two bigger celebrities in the world when they made that movie. But if you remember correctly, Jersey Girl had the unfortunate timing of having to follow one of the most trod upon movies in the history of cinema, Gigli, starring the two biggest pieces of his huge cast. As a result, the general movie-going public didn't even bother to give Jersey Girl much of a chance. This was especially ridiculous considering the movie was really about Affleck's character interacting with his father, played by George Carlin, his soon-to-be girlfriend, played by the impossibly cute Liv Tyler, and his daughter, played by Raquel Castro.
But now, there is no doubt about it. Short of Seth Rogen entering a media circus-type situation where he dates Lindsay Lohan, does a bunch of coke, and goes to jail, he will undoubtedly bring some serious, legitimate Hollywood heat to Kevin Smith's new comedy. Let's look at Rogen's last few movies.
Although The 40 Year-Old Virgin was a Steve Carell project, Seth Rogen's performance didn't hurt that movie at all. It's worldwide gross was over $177 million according to Box Office Mojo. After that, Seth Rogen produced and starred in Knocked Up which grossed $217 million worldwide. Finally, he wrote and played in Superbad this summer which has grossed over $167 million worldwide, and that doesn't include DVD numbers as the release date is set for December 4.
That box office track record would have any director creaming their collective shorts. But the news is even rosier for Kevin Smith and his Weinstein Company backers. When Smith makes a movie, the budget doesn't look big compared to the catering bill of a Michael Bay production. Smith is reportedly going to make Zack and Miri on a budget of $25 million. If Rogen and Elizabeth Banks are anywhere close to decent in this movie, they will easily be able to make everyone involved supremely rich. Or even more supremely rich in the case of most Hollywood types.
Regardless, Kevin Smith got his man and he potentially has a gateway into a post-Silent Bob movie directing career.