Filmmaker Kevin Smith first broke into the film industry thanks to his no-budget, 1994 indie comedy Clerks, and now that movie’s two most memorable characters will be coming to virtual reality. Jay and Silent Bob VR will be a live-action comedy series that will be written and directed by Smith, shot from the point of view of his Silent Bob character as Jason Mewes’ Jay “leads the way through a string of idiotic adventures.”
It’s just one of several VR projects in development that were announced today by STX Entertainment’s Surreal division, which handles VR and immersive entertainment production for the company. Among the other titles are an untitled live-action series from John Wick writer Derek Kolstad, about a government agent sent to investigate a mysterious aircraft crash in 1947, and an action-comedy from Guardians of the Galaxy star Dave Bautista. The Kiev Exchange will be a spin-off of director Peter Berg’s upcoming action film Mile 22, while the comedy New Tricks — to be directed and produced by The Hangover’s Ed Helms — will follow a slacker who discovers he is fated to become an all-powerful wizard.
The different shows will debut through Surreal’s own app, which is scheduled to come to various VR headsets sometime this summer. The first release will be The Limit, a live-action VR series from Spy Kids and Sin City director Robert Rodriguez, that will star Michelle Rodriguez (the Fast & Furious franchise).
With the announcement, it’s clear that STX Entertainment is trying to use the relationships and properties it’s been developing as a film studio to jumpstart its VR content production business. While it’s a sensible strategy unto itself, it’s unclear just how lucrative a market VR can be with this kind of narrative content, particularly with the advent of more interactive, location-based VR experiences like The Void getting more exposure. Then again, a filmmaker like Kevin Smith is known for having a rabid, passionate fanbase eager to follow him anywhere — and if that means into VR for the ongoing adventures of Jay and Silent Bob, then STX will definitely have those fans covered.