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Kevin Smith’s Red State Wouldn’t Exist Without Cop Out

Kevin Smith’s Cop Out wasn’t exactly the best-reviewed film of 2010. Even the indie filmmaker’s most devoted fans have called Smith’s decision to direct the Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan-starring buddy comedy an obvious cash grab. But Smith says that directing Cop Out wasn’t a money-driven decision, explaining to his Twitter followers that he actually earned a surprisingly low paycheck for the movie:

Via @doubleplusgeoff “you’d do a lot for your credibility if you’d just come right out & say that CopOut was a ‘gettin paid’ movie” I wish I could. But I actually took an 84% pay cut to make #CopOut – because I wanted to work with BruceWillis. Lots of us did. Tracy got paid more than me, but not much. I also gave BACK half my already-way-less salary to get the film green-lit: there was a budget crunch to get to the $35million the studio wanted, so Marc Platt & I each gave up half our salaries IN ADDITION to the big dip in our quotes we’d agreed to. When all was said & done, we came in way under budget. Final cost: $32mil – $3mil less than we were allotted. Contractually, WB didn’t have to give me the money I gave up until they were in the black, but since we came in under budget, they cut me a check for the re-investment I’d made BEFORE the flick hit theaters. And even then, I still made 80% less than I did on my previous flick. I made MORE as the director of DOGMA in 1998 than I did as the director of COP OUT in 2009/2010. So please: enough with the “you musta got PAID” bullshit. I didn’t. Both my agent & my lawyer were like “Don’t do this. You can get paid more making a Kevin Smith movie.”

Instead, Smith contends that directing Cop Out was a necessary step towards his forthcoming horror movie, Red State, as well as the future trajectory of his career:

But I knew if I wanted to make RedState, I had to make CopOut. There were things I needed to learn, and I learned them – while making a financially responsible buddy cop homage for a major studio, from a script I didn’t write. I’m sorry you didn’t like CopOut; feel free to skip RedState if you feel betrayed in some way. But to suggest I did #CopOut for the money is ludicrous – as it was the least I’ve been paid to direct a film since 1998 – 11 years prior. CopOut may not fit into your KevinSmith narrative, but I know where my story goes – and it was the keystone to everything that RedState is.

The trailer for Red State was one of 2010’s creepiest and most effective pieces of promotion for a film, so if Cop Out — a movie that I’ve actively avoided and will continue to do so without guilt — needed to come out for Smith to have the confidence to create Red State, that’s fine by me; I’m not losing any sleep.

[via /Film]

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Comments

  • http://steevensplace.blogspot.com Steeven

    I used to be a huge Kevin Smith fan. Not so much anymore.

    But I really liked Cop Out and frankly I think Kevin Smith needs to stop apologizing for his films. Even if he had done Cop Out strictly for the check? So what? A man’s gotta work, right?

  • cfoshinsmoooooov

    I see crap like this all the time. Some jackass with a keyboard talks out thier ass about stuff they know NOTHING about. This is the annoying side about internet fan culture. It is so easy to talk crap abuot actual creators when you think they aren’t going to read your comments or that you’ll never have to look them in the eye and say something.

    Maybe Smith and Mewes should do some door to door visits, ala Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back ;)