‘Good Lord, the Little Stoner’s Got a Point’: 15 Trivia Tidbits About ‘Dogma’
1999 saw Kevin Smith breaking out of his traditional mold of mocking pop culture to mock religion. His fourth film, Dogma, stars Ben Affleck and Matt Damon as fallen angels who have found a loophole back into heaven, which, when used, will prove God’s fallibility and cause all of existence to unravel. Standing in their way is abortion clinic counselor Bethany Sloane (Linda Fiorentino), who has been selected by God to stop the angels with the help of two prophets. Naturally, those prophets are Jay and Silent Bob because, well, Dogma is a Kevin Smith movie, and who else could they be?
A turning point in Smith’s comedic career, read on about why George Carlin was so eager to sign up, why you can’t watch it today and the hilarious way Smith dealt with protesters. Why? Because God wills it so…
George Carlin Inspired ‘Dogma’
Catholic No More
Smith has credited Carlin with disabusing him of Catholicism during the filming of Dogma.
Why Carlin Appeared in ‘Dogma’
According to Smith, Carlin always wanted to do more acting in his career and enjoyed working with the director because he got the opportunity to actually act.
Jay and Silent Bob Will Return in Dogma
Smith wrote the script for Dogma before he completed Clerks. That’s why the end credits for his debut film say, “Jay and Silent Bob will return in Dogma,” even though they would appear in Mallrats and Chasing Amy first.
Smith Called Robert Rodriguez for Support on ‘Dogma’
Though it was his fourth film, Smith was apprehensive about directing Dogma due to it being a considerably larger production than his previous movies. He called his friend and fellow filmmaker, Rodriguez, and asked, “I’m supposed to make this movie, Dogma, it’s got angels; it’s about the end of the world. I don’t think I can do it. Would you direct it next week?” Rodriguez rebuffed Smith, stating, “You can do this, man. Here’s my one tip for you: Just pull the camera away from the wall. You’re always shooting against the wall. Turn it towards a window.”
Blood of an Angel
According to the DVD commentary, Affleck accidentally cut himself with a knife during the gun shop scene. That take was used in the final edit.
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck BFFs
To date, BFFs Damon and Affleck have appeared in nine films together, with Dogma being their fifth collaboration. Their other Smith projects include Chasing Amy, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and Jay and Silent Bob Reboot.
Where Buddy Christ Belongs
The Buddy Christ statue from Dogma now resides in the Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash comic book shop in Red Bank, New Jersey
Golgothan, the shit demon, is introduced as being “Not born. Shit into existence.” This line was lifted from the Batman graphic novel Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth by Grant Morrison and Dave McKean. In the comic, it’s referring to the villain Clayface, whom Golgothan strongly resembles.
‘To Hell with Dogma’
Due to its lampooning of Catholicism, Dogma was widely protested. In 1999, Smith learned there would be local protests in New Jersey and thought it’d be funny if he joined the mob. He and his friend made signs that read “To Hell with Dogma” and “Dogma is Dog Shit.” Smith was even interviewed by the local news as a protester.
Matt Damon Loved Jay
Damon loved Jason Mewes’ performance in Dogma, saying, “Nobody’s saying it, but I’ll say it: Jason Mewes stole the movie out from under everybody.”
So Did Alan Rickman
Rickman, who played the angel Metatron, the voice of God, became friendly with Mewes during filming. “Alan loved Jason and found him endlessly fascinating,” Smith has said.
Smith’s Biggest Success
Dogma became Smith’s biggest hit, making $44 million off a $10 million budget.
You Can’t Watch ‘Dogma’
Despite its success, Dogma is unavailable to stream, rent or purchase because it’s owned by Harvey Weinstein. As Smith has said, “My movie about angels is being held by the devil himself.”
Despite having a trilogy of Clerks films and a Mallrats sequel in the works, Smith has said he’ not interested in revisiting Dogma. When asked about a Dogma sequel in 2017, he said, “Fuck no. I don’t think we need a Dogma 2. And I am sure as shit not going near any religious movies at this point.”