"By calling it Zack and Miri Make a Porno, you're drawing a line in the sand that kinda says, anyone who's remotely interested in a movie like that with that title, come on in. If you're offended by the word porno, stay the f*ck away. This ain't for you." -- Kevin Smith
Last month, I traveled to Red Bank, New Jersey and enjoyed a very cool lunch with a very cool dude by the name of Kevin Smith. While we scarfed down some tasty Italian food, I recorded roughly an hour and a half of our conversation -- all of which would be way too much to read in one post. Thus, I've decided to break some stuff up into sections and post them separately, then I'll be back with much more in the coming days leading up to the October 31st release of the pretty hilarious Zack and Miri Make a Porno. At one point during our conversation, Kevin told me about the alternate title Bob Weinstein wanted for Zack and Miri. Check it out:
Kevin Smith: "That [title] sh*t didn't come up until we were deep in the process. Because when I was sitting around with Harvey [Weinstein], we were talking about some Clerks II stuff and he asked what I wanted to do next. So I said there was this movie I was thinking about making called Zack and Miri Make a Porno, and he goes ...
[the following is written out in script form because it's easier to read, though keep in mind these are all still Smith's words]
Harvey Weinstein: Done. Green lit.
Kevin Smith: Don't you wanna know what it's about?
Harvey Weinstein: Kevin, doesn't that title say it all? That's a great title. Hopefully it's about a little more when we're done, but so be it.
So we were all up and running -- Seth [Rogen] read it, loved it -- and so it never really occurred to anyone. Two weeks into shooting I get a phone call from Bob Weinstein, and Bob goes ...
Bob Weinstein: Kevin, I've been thinking about the title a lot. That title just gives it all away. Why is anyone going to go see this movie if they know exactly what's going to happen based on that title?
Kevin Smith: Look, I take your point Bob, but at the same time when we announced that title online, everyone went crazy for it. I've yet to see a negative thing written about it -- and Bob, I'm used to seeing negative things written about me. I haven't seen anything negative about the title. People seem to like it.
Bob Weinstein: Yeah, but it's just a little too revealing ... I feel like maybe you should tone it back a little bit and just hear me out on this; I know it's going to come as a bit of a shock, but try this: Zack and Miri Make a Movie.
Kevin Smith: Bob, that's just lame. That's so lame and tame. Plus, we're out there with the title already and if we pull back now, it's gonna look like somebody pussed out. And I ain't taking that f**king bullet because I believe in the title. It's also not very truthful. What if you have a blue hair going to see it and you start showing Jason Mewes' c*ck, Katie Morgan's t*ts, all this f**king, and all this language -- you're gonna create a panic. You're gonna create an outrage with that customer and maybe more. By calling it Zack and Miri Make a Porno, you're drawing a line in the sand that kinda says, anyone who's remotely interested in a movie like that with that title, come on in. If you're offended by the word porno, stay the f*ck away. This ain't for you.
Bob Weinstein: I hope you're right -- I'll let you do what you want to do; you're the filmmaker. I just think it'll be a mistake. But let's hope you're right.
A week later USA Today wrote a piece on the movie, and they quoted the dude from exhibitor relations who said that's one of the best titles of the year. And then Bob Weinstein goes, 'I don't know what I was thinking, I had a brain fart. Great title. Roll with it.' So that was the only place where someone said we might have trouble down the line, and it wasn't until we started showing the film to the MPAA before things got really hairy ..."
Zack and Miri Make a Porno hits theaters on October 31st.
More from Kevin Smith:
Kevin Smith on Financing and Casting Red State
[photo via Getty Images]