Sunday, October 27, 2013

O’Halloran talks about upcoming ‘Clerks III’ at FanFare; Details about 'Hit Somebody' also discussed

DEARBORN — For the third time in the four year history of the Detroit Fanfare Comic Con, actor Brian O’Halloran, served as the event's master of ceremonies.
The convention was held last weekend at the Adoba Hotel, during a down moment, O’Halloran sat down to chat about his career, including his thoughts on the upcoming “Clerks III.” O’Halloran’s first feature film role was as Dante Hicks in 1994’s “Clerks,” written and directed by Kevin Smith.
“I think it’s one of the best things (Smith) has ever written,” O’Halloran said between bites of pizza. “He’s put so many dimensions now into the characters, there are a couple of scenes that made me cry; Literally, physically stop and cry.
“The fans are not going to know what him them when they see this.”
O’Halloran said that the film will be in production in early 2014.
“Kevin is in the middle of shooting a film called ‘Tusk’ right now in North Carolina,” he said. “Once he wraps that up and gets it to (The Sundance Film Festival) we can get started on it. Hopefully if all of the logistics of who’s distributing it gets worked out we can start shooting in March. Kevin has time to edit it during the summer, then knowing him he’ll want to release it in October.”
The reason for the speculated October release date is that would be the official 20 year anniversary of when the original “Clerks first saw a wide release on the big screen.
“Romantically it sounds nice if we can get that done that way,” he said.
When asked about how he feels playing the same role 20 years after he debuted it on screen, O’Halloran quipped about feeling old, but then said that he likes where Smith has taken the characters.
“I truly feel blessed that the fan base is still as vibrant as it was five years after the first film,” he said. “Now seeing people who are my generation who have kids that are in their teens and 20’s that are seeing this for the first time.
“It truly is a testament to Kevin’s writing that it still can carry over from generation to generation.”
The original film initially ended with the Dante character being killed in a botched store robbery. That ending was cut out prior to the film being released to general audiences, the change in the ending has allowed for the two sequels. The main characters of Dante and Randall Graves (Jeff Smith) also appeared in 2001’s “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back,” and an animated version of the movie that aired just two episodes on ABC in 2000.
“(Clerks III) is a natural progression of who we are as people,” O’Halloran said. “In a way Kevin has really developed this tremendous growth in the characters. Tackling the character of Dante again shouldn’t be an issue.”
Part of the character growth included buying the store that Hicks worked in during the original, and now
raising a son with Becky (Rosario Dawson) who was introduced in the first sequel.
“Now that there is a child onboard,” he said, “It’s a different dynamic. There are going to be a lot of great challenges to tackle.”
Another project, “Hit Somebody,” that O’Halloran hopes to work on next year is also a project written and set to be directed by Smith.
“Hit Somebody,” was initially set to be a movie based on the Mitch Albom and Warren Zevon song of the same name. That project is now scheduled to be an 8-part miniseries produced by the BBC.
O’Halloran hasn’t been offered a role yet, but talked with Albom about the project after appearing on his radio show last week.
“I told him that I was a gigantic hockey fan,” he said.”Even if I’m just a heckler in the audience I want to be a part of this.”
O’Halloran joked about one hitch that could keep him from the project.
“Kevin’s a huge Devils fan,” he said. “I’m a Rangers fan. That may come against me on this one.”
“Hit Somebody,” tells the story of a Canadian hockey player that grows up to become a goon in the professional leagues. The main character just wants to score one goal before he retires.
O’Halloran also spoke about his upcoming appearance on the AMC TV series “Comic Book Men.” That show stars several of Smith’s childhood friends and is set in the New Jersey-based comic book store owned by Smith.
“I was on last season,” O’Halloran said. “I had a blast with those guys. The people who are coming in with merchandise to sell are actual customers. They make appointments ahead of time then the producers pick the most interesting ones to come in.”
O’Halloran said that after his appearance last year, he was asked to come back for the current season.
“I filmed an episode with myself and Jason Mewes, and a few other people,” he said.
“Comic Book Men,” airs Sunday nights after “The Walking Dead.”

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