Anyone familiar with the career of writer/director Kevin Smith would likely assume he’d be willing to do just about anything for the chance to helm a Marvel Studios movie. He’s practically built a career on the art of timely geek references, including having Stan Lee appear as himself in 1995’s Mallrats to clear up questions about the Thing’s rocky anatomy. He still dishes regularly on Marvel and all other things geek with co-host Mark Bernardin on the Fatman Beyond podcast. But according to a new interview, Smith is surprisingly uninterested in helping to bring any Marvel properties to the big screen.
Speaking to Uproxx in an interview posted on Monday, Kevin Smith said he understands why there’s an expectation he “should” be working on Marvel movies since superheroes and comic books have been his bread and butter for so long. But Smith said he didn’t think Marvel movies were right for him for a couple of reasons.
For one, Kevin Smith he wasn’t talented enough to direct Marvel movies. Specifically, he said you needed visual skills to make a good superhero flick, while his talents lay more in words. For another, Smith said that as much as he loves the Marvel movies, he would rather spend what time he has working on his own characters rather than someone else’s.
Kevin Smith made sure to add, however, that while he doesn’t want to spend a lot of time making a Marvel movie, he really wants to be in one. He mentioned that he was hoping this was why Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige called him after his heart attack in February 2018, but no such luck. He said he hoped for it again when Feige called him about Captain Marvel, only to learn Feige was calling to get a recording of Stan Lee’s voice for the movie.
Of course, it wasn’t always the case that Kevin Smith was uninterested in working on a Marvel project. The writer/director was set to produce a Howard the Duck animated series for Hulu which would have connected to the other planned series Tigra, Dazzler, M.O.D.O.K., and Hit Monkey. In January 2020, news broke that all the but the last two series were headed for the chopping block.
In a March 2021 episode of his Fatman Beyond podcast (via ScreenRant), Kevin Smith opened up about a possible reason why Howard the Duck didn’t survive. Talking about his plans for the series, Smith said that the mystical book the Darkhold would have been very important to the story. The book was Howard’s only way to get home. At the time of Smith’s podcast, the Darkhold had just shown up on WandaVision, but it had not yet been revealed that the book was the Darkhold. So about the book, Smith said that if it “is indeed the Darkhold, that would have been a reason to kill Howard the Duck right then and there.” Since we now know it was the Darkhold, it seems likely Smith was right.
As for the next project Kevin Smith will be working on, the writer/director is once again returning to the franchise that launched his career. Smith reportedly began filming Clerks III recently and the film will apparently have a much more personal feel than previous movies. Just as Smith suffered from a near-fatal heart attack in 2018, Clerks III will deal with Jeff Anderson’s character Randal recovering from a heart attack. Smith is writing and directing, and most of the original cast is expected to return including Smith as Silent Bob, Jay Mewes as Jay, Brian O’Halloran as Dante, and Rosario Dawson as Becky.