Kevin Smith panels have been a Hall H mainstay at San Diego Comic Con for nearly two decades. I have been to nearly every one, starting years earlier with one in Ballroom 20 (before Hall H was a thing) where he showed off nearly 20 minutes of scenes from Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back before its release in 2001. Smith’s panels in Ballroom 20 were always at capacity, so when Hall H was built, it was only fair that he should get an upgrade. I started covering his panels for CBR in 2012. I was there in 2015 when the room emptied out (6000+ people) before his panel because JJ Abrams invited the entire room at the Star Wars:The Force Awakens panel (which preceded his) to a free Star Wars concert, I was one of a handful of loyal fans who stayed behind (and got a front row seat) to be entertained by Smith and friends. The only panel I missed of his was the one last year–because there was a panel for Twin Peaks–one of the few shows I will drop everything for–scheduled against him.
But it was that very first Kevin Smith Ballroom 20 panel in 2001–the Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back one–which remains one of my fondest Comic Con memories. There were many clips. There were walk-on surprise guests. There were laughs and jokes and pop culture discussions. Which is why yesterday’s announcement in Deadline Hollywood that Smith would be returning to Hall H next month with a panel centered around his new Jay and Silent Bob Reboot film–filled me with joy.
Smith wrote and directed Jay and Silent Bob Reboot. In the sequel, Jay and Silent Bob return to Hollywood to stop a reboot of the ‘Bluntman and Chronic’ movie from getting made. Jay (Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith) were first introduced 25 years ago in Smith’s directorial debut Clerks and continued to appear in Smith’s cinematic canon–known as the View Askew-inverse— including Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and Clerks II, as well as the animated film Jay and Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie.
Some of the actors appearing in the movie include Rosario Dawson, Chris Hemsworth, Justin Long, Jason Lee, and Shannon Elizabeth. While there is no word as to whether or not they will appear on the panel, I would bet that there will be some surprises. We will find out in four weeks when San Diego Comic Con gets underway!