Dogma (1999) Poster



Jump to: Director Trademark (4) | Spoilers (6)
Jason Mewes had the entire script memorized before rehearsals. When asked why, he said it was because he didn't want to anger Alan Rickman, and because Kevin Smith took him aside before rehearsals began and said he needed to be on his best behavior and bring his A game to the set, which Mewes did.
When they heard Alan Rickman was a Chasing Amy (1997) fan, Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier felt confident enough to ask him to play Metatron. He read the script and came back with only two questions: 1) would we stay faithful to the script, and 2) are the wings real or CGI?
According to Kevin Smith on his DVD commentary Linda Fiorentino was very difficult to work with and on some days in fact wasn't even speaking to him. In retrospect Smith says he wishes he offered the role to Janeane Garofalo instead.
William Donohue of the Catholic League lambasted the film and publicly protested against it for months without actually seeing the film, after which his office called View Askew offices and said "Dr. Donohue requests a special screening of Dogma (1999) so that he can speak about it intelligently." Kevin Smith's response was: "So what has he been doing the past six months?"
George Carlin agreed to take the role of Cardinal Glick, but didn't want to remove his wedding band (he had recently lost his wife), so he wore a Band-Aid to hide it. This was actually unnecessary as Catholic clergy wear wedding bands to signify their "marriage" to the church.
Alanis Morissette was originally meant to play the leading role of Bethany Sloan, but was unable to because of her 1998-99 world tour. By the time she was able to work on the film, the role had been cast so she was offered the chance to play God as compensation.
The hoods worn around the neck of the three angels in the film, Metatron (Alan Rickman), Bartleby (Ben Affleck) and Loki (Matt Damon) represent their haloes.
Kevin Smith pursued Robert Rodriguez to direct the film. Rodriguez enjoyed the script but, in seeing how personal the story was, insisted that Smith himself direct.
Unbeknown to protesters, Kevin Smith joined one of the Catholic groups that protested his film. He managed to get interviewed by a reporter who recognized him, though Smith managed to stay incognito by giving his friend's name as his own (Bryan Johnson); also present at the protest rally) and telling her that he is often mistaken for the Clerks. (1994) director. During the interview Smith (as Johnson) also made the comment that he kind of liked his [Kevin Smith's] first film.
Kevin Smith wrote this screenplay before he wrote Clerks. (1994), but shelved it because he wanted to do it with proper special effects.
On the train when Silent Bob grabs Bartleby, he yells, Schueler Bob? I'll get you for this Schueler Bob! Ben Affleck ad-libbed the line, much to the amusement of the cast and crew, intending it to be Silent Bob in German. Kevin Smith left it in even though Schueler is actually German for pupil.
In the film, Loki is the angel of death and Azrael is a demon who wants to cause mischief. In traditional mythology, it is Azrael who is the angel of death, and Loki is a Norse god who causes mischief.
All angels are identically dressed except for the color of their clothes.
The Mooby restaurant's playground was created especially for the movie - it's shaped like a giant meat grinder.
Emma Thompson was going to appear in the film as God, but she backed out before filming began in order to have a baby.
The Buddy Christ statue that was used in the film is on display (as of mid-2001) at Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash, a comic book store in Red Bank, New Jersey owned by Kevin Smith.
Due to the controversy of the film, Disney was having doubts about releasing the film, at which point Mirimax's Harvey Weinstein personally brought the project from Miramax and sent it to Lion's Gate Films.
Rufus's reply, "Know him? Nigga owes me twelve bucks!" when asked if he knows Christ was one of the few lines ad-libbed by Chris Rock. When Rufus awakens on the train, he says the word "poopytrim.", this was not in the script, but has been used in a Kevin Smith film in the past. In Mallrats (1995), when Willam is standing in front of the magic eye poster, he is woken from his trance by Brody and he says "poopytrim", and another ad-lib is when Rock calls Silent Bob "biggie." It was originally written as "tubby."
Azrael references Hamlet by William Shakespeare: "I need you three to shuffle her loose the mortal coil..."
The role of Loki was written for Jason Lee, but scheduling conflicts forced him to take on the smaller role of Azrael and Matt Damon took over as Loki.
According to Kevin Smith, his first choice for the role of Bethany was Gillian Anderson.
This is the fourth film in Kevin Smith's intricately interconnected View Askewniverse series (the others being Clerks. (1994), Mallrats (1995), Chasing Amy (1997), Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001) and Clerks II (2006)). The movies are all linked by characters, themes and events and each contains numerous references to the others.
Kevin Smith gave himself a puppeteers credit under the name Kevin P. Smith. This was for helping out with the handling of the wings in various scenes.
Silent Bob is seen reading USA Today. Kevin Smith met his wife while she was interviewing him for an article she was writing for USA Today.
First appearance of a Mooby's restaurant in a Kevin Smith film, something that becomes a recurring establishment in future View Askewniverse films.
Smith originally wrote an early draft of the film in the early-90s and planned on shooting it after Clerks. (1994), hence the inclusion of that movie's end credits: Jay and Silent Bob will return in Dogma (1999)'. However, he found himself unhappy with the early version of the script and decided instead to not pursue the project until he became a better filmmaker.
The Buddy Christ, unveiled by Cardinal Glick as the new image of Christ, was created by David Deneen.
The very distinctive typeface used in the logotype of the film's title and elsewhere is called Exocet Light, and is licensed by Emigre Graphics in Northern California.
Among the numerous (reportedly eight) drafts of the script written, the controversy and protests of the film were based on the third draft which was transcribed and placed on the internet by an unknown source.
'Kevin Smith (I)' originally wanted 'Danny Elfman' to compose the score for the film, but Elfman was unavailable.
The film was picketed by Roman Catholic groups, most notably the Catholic League.
In the opening sequence at the airport, Gwyneth Paltrow was sitting a couple of seats away from Ben Affleck. She is never seen however, and was only there because Affleck had invited her to the set that day as a friend.
Bartelby and Loki's address in Milwakee is 345 Redemption Blvd. This can be seen on the envelope containing the newspaper clipping in the airport scene.
Shannen Doherty, who played Renee in Mallrats (1995), wanted the role of Bethany Sloane
Character Trademark: Jay says the line "The whole world's against us man, I swear to God". This line is originated in the comics, and was used again in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001).
This film was originally scheduled for a November 1998 release and to be released by Miramax Films, but due to controversy, the film was postponed for a 1999 release, and the rights were passed on to Lions Gate Films.
When Azrael takes Bartleby and Loki to the toy store, Madman toys can be seen behind Azrael. Madman is a comic book character created by Mike Allred, who did the pencils for the comic book pages used in Kevin Smith's Chasing Amy (1997).
Joey Lauren Adams was considered for the role of Bethany.
Rufus tells Bethany something no one else knew, about a boy named Bryan Johnson. Bryan Johnson is a friend of Kevin Smith's and appears in most of his films. Johnson is a writer/director who directed the first film from View Askew (Smith's production company) not to be directed by Kevin Smith - Vulgar (2000).
The name of the bus company in the film is "Derris." Rick Derris is the name of a recurring character that appears in and is discussed in Kevin Smith's movies (Clerks. (1994), Mallrats (1995), etc).
The "shit Golgotha" quotes William Shakespeare's Macbeth when he says "No man of woman born". In the play Macbeth this is said in his vision with the Weird Sisters.
The role of God was originally written for Holly Hunter. Even though she was not cast, they kept the reference to The Piano (1993) in the script.
Albert Brooks was offered the role of Cardinal Glick.
The exterior of The Bootlegger bar was shot in Highlands, NJ, Kevin Smith's home town.
Several versions of the script had much less couth dialogue for the conversation between Loki and the nun. Originally, he told her to take the money she was collecting and get a nice piece of ass; this was changed for the movie to a nice dress. The original was a reference to the book/movie Fletch (1985).
Robert Holtzman, the film's production designer who also appears as a police officer, also has a character named after him: Mr. Holtzman in the boardroom scene.
Both Bill Murray, John Travolta and Adam Sandler were considered for the role of Azrael. Adam Sandler turn down the role to work on Big Daddy (1999).
Kevin Smith had Samuel L. Jackson and Will Smith in mind to play Rufus.
In the scene where Bartleby gives Loki the newspaper clipping, the author of the article is Carol Banker. She is the script supervisor for this and many other Kevin Smith films.
Bob Schreck, Joe Nozemack and Jim Mahfood all make cameos as Church parishioners. They all worked with Kevin Smith in comics with Mahfood illustrating the Clerks comics , Schreck as editor on Kevin's Green Arrow run and Schreck and Nozemack as co-publishers of his Clerks and Jay and Silent Bob Comics at Oni Press.
The character of Gov. Dalton - played by a different actress - was originally in the original version of Kevin Smith's Mallrats (1995), but was cut from that movie.
While in production the project's name was Bearclaw.

Director Trademark 

Kevin Smith:  [Jaws (1975)]  In the DVD Special Edition there is a cut scene where Jay (Jason Mewes) puts on Cardinal Glick's (George Carlin) hat and walks back and forth behind a screen so that all you see is the hat, looking like a shark's fin.
Kevin Smith:  [star wars]  After meeting with Bethany, Jay says "It's like I'm Han, you're Chewie, she's Ben Kenobi and we're in that fucked-up bar!" The scene transitions are done in the same way as the Star Wars movies, wiping instead of just cutting to the next scene.
Kevin Smith:  [comic books]  One of the Stygian triplets wears a Hellboy t-shirt, Bartleby says You wouldn't like me when I'm angry in reference to the Hulk, Madman toys appear in the toy store.
Kevin Smith:  [hockey]  The Stygian Triplets wield hockey sticks and wear in-line skates.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

There were eight different versions of the script and not one of them, including the shooting script, ever had anything about God cleaning up at the end. Kevin Smith had what he called an epiphany at the last minute. There had been a number of delays in shooting the scene, and the church eventually asked Smith to clean up the street. He chose to immediately clean up the street and add God cleaning up rather than disappoint the very accommodating church.
Following several unsatisfactory takes of Jay's reaction to the result of the God/Bartleby confrontation, Kevin Smith simply told Jason Mewes to do it like Daffy Duck.
Although Alanis Morissette is only onscreen as God for a few minutes at the end of the film, she has two different costumes. The second, a white dress with a metallic bodice and jacket, was designed by French haute couturier Christian Lacroix and was by far the most expensive outfit in the movie. Appropriately, given the plot and Catholic themes of this movie, the designer's first and last names are both references to Christianity, "Lacroix" meaning "the cross" in French, and "Christian" meaning, well, Christian.
Silent Bob speaks a total of three words in the movie: "No ticket" on the train; and "Thanks" after Rufus (Chris Rock) was talking to Jay before going back to heaven.
The boardroom massacre was supposed to be a John Woo-type action sequence (hence the big stunt guys in suits) but Kevin Smith decided to change it at the last minute.
Alanis Morissette was originally going to reply to Bethany's "Why are we here?" question by saying, "Plastics," and tweaking her nose. This was in reference to a bit from George Carlin: Jammin' in New York (1992).

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