As New Jersey native Kevin Smith gears up to direct his next feature film, Mallrats 2, rumors have been flying that Delaware County's dying Granite Run Mall could serve as the backdrop for the 1995 cult classic's sequel.
And, as it turns out, those rumors may be true.
"We have been talking with [Smith's people]," says Granite Run Mall co-owner and BET Investments President Michael Markman. "They are definitely interested in filming at the mall."
Markman also indicates that he has had discussions with Smith's camp "every other week" for some time now, though no concrete plans have yet emerged.
Ultimately, it appears the problem is one of timing. Markman and co. hope to demolish portions of Granite Run Mall beginning this fall, which butts up against the proposed mid-June start-time of Mallrats 2's filming.
"The issue is if they're going to be ready to do filming," Markman says. "Going forward, we will need to work out a deal. If they can complete plans prior to demolition, we would love to work with them."
"No deal has been made, but we are willing to entertain the idea," Markman adds.
Smith initially planned to film Clerks III in the Philadelphia area thanks to a $2.1 million tax credit from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. However, the development of Mallrats 2 took off, and promptly nabbed Clerks III's spot in the production schedule.
Despite the change, Smith has confirmed that his crew would be sticking around Philly for Mallrats 2. Via Comicbook.com:
Smith also explained that even though most of the movie is being filmed near Philadelphia that there are two days of mall shooting in Los Angeles.
Smith added, "The storyline allows for a cast of hundreds, including anybody I've ever met in genre."
Current plans call for a portion of the mall to be razed to make room for the construction of two luxury apartment buildings and a new movie theater. If Smith is looking for a spot where he can "blow the f—ing mall up, which happens in the third act [of Mallrats 2]", I tend to think that this would be a good location to do so.
Smith's crew would seem to agree. When he appeared on Preston & Steve back in March to discuss Mallrats 2, Smith admitted that they had been looking at a place "halfway between City Center and King of Prussia."
"I don't want to give away too much because it gives away the plot," Smith said back in March.
So far, Smith has signed on much of the original Mallrats cast for the sequel, including Shannen Doherty, Jason Lee, and Ethan Suplee. And with any luck, we'll see them all milling around Delco this summer.
And if that's the case, well: Snootchie bootchies, y'all.